Four of the world’s biggest flavor and fragrance manufacturers are facing a flurry of lawsuits stemming from allegations of price-fixing, per Reuters.
The European Commission’s announcement last March that anti-trust authorities had raided Symrise, Givaudan, and Firmenich sparked a collection of at least nine cases that now target the Swiss companies alongside US-based International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) and Germany’s Symrise.
The most recent class-action lawsuit was filed on Thursday in a New Jersey federal court by two U.S. plaintiff firms on behalf of direct and indirect fragrance purchasers. Pennsylvania-based Crimson Candle Supplies was included in the suit, and their lawyers allege that “all defendants consistently increased their prices and faced no repercussions for doing so.”
Firmenich, who are currently in the process of merging with the Dutch chemicals group DSM, responded to the newest case of misconduct by saying they “will vigorously defend these cases.” Symrise have also stated their intention to fight the allegations, and have asked the Luxembourg-based General Court to make a decision of nullity on the European Commission’s decision ordering the raids.
International Flavors & Fragrance have declined to comment on the specifics of the case, but are very vocal about the gravity of the allegations, stating they are “taking them very seriously” and working closely with the responsible authorities.
Givaudan, who are yet to reply to a message of seeking comment, has been accused of conspiring with the other producers to split the production of synthetic and natural ingredients that is present in the perfumes, detergent and cosmetics found in our homes.
A growing number of individuals and businesses who make use of the commercially produced fragrances are coming together to expose the wrongdoing of these big companies and demand justice. This is a still unfolding story, that will no doubt affect the businesses and industries of thousands of people.