Many forget about Father Nieuwland. He was an unassuming man who stayed mostly in his laboratory, often eating and sleeping there, stretched out on the lab bench, a rolled up lab coat as a pillow. He refused any royalties on his creation due to his vow of poverty as a priest. Yet we must not forget this creator of chloroprene [neoprene], possibly the greatest figures in industrial invention.
Dow and DuPont, the two largest U.S. chemical companies, have already disclosed that their DuPont Dow Elastomers LLC joint venture received a subpoena last year in connection with investigations into the synthetic rubber markets for possible antitrust violations, including price fixing.
Sven Dopke, an analyst at M.M. Warburg, said in a note that Bayer had built financial provisions for the investigations in 2003. "We estimate a coverage of up to 110 million euros," he wrote.
The newspaper report said at least four grand-jury investigations stemming from the probes were under way in San Francisco. Among the latest products under scrutiny are a widely used plastic, urethane, and a synthetic rubber known as neoprene, the newspaper cited lawyers close to the case as saying.
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