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An extract on #farben

IG Farben - former German chemical industry conglomerate IG Farben Building - former corporate headquarters of IG Farben in Frankfurt, Germany IG Farben Trial - the war crimes trial of 24 IG Farben executives following World War II Jan Jelinek - German electronic musician, who has performed under the name "Farben" Farben Lehre - Polish punk rock band Third movement of Arnold Schoenberg's Five Pieces for Orchestra

IG Farben scientists made fundamental contributions to all areas of chemistry and the pharmaceutical industry. Notably IG Farben scientists discovered the first antibiotic, fundamentally reformed medical research and "opened a new era in medicine." Otto Bayer discovered the polyaddition for the synthesis of polyurethane in 1937. Several IG Farben scientists were awarded Nobel Prizes. Carl Bosch and Friedrich Bergius were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1931 "in recognition of their contributions to the invention and development of chemical high pressure methods". Gerhard Domagk was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1939 "for the discovery of the antibacterial effects of prontosil". Kurt Alder was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1950 for his "discovery and development of the diene synthesis". During the 1920s, the company had ties to the liberal German People's Party. Despite being previously accused of being an "international capitalist Jewish company" by the far right, the company became embroiled in the Nazi regime's policies as a large government contractor after the Nazi takeover of Germany. In 1951, IG Farben was split into its four largest original constituent companies, which remain some of the world's largest chemical and pharmaceutical companies. The current main successor companies are AGFA, BASF, Bayer and Sanofi.

IG Farben was founded on 9 December 1925, as a merger of the following six companies: BASF Bayer Hoechst (including Cassella and Chemische Fabrik Kalle) Agfa Chemische Fabrik Griesheim-Elektron Chemische Fabrik vorm. Weiler Ter Meer The supervisory board members became widely known as, and were said to jokingly call themselves, the "Council of Gods" (Rat der Gtter); the designation was later used as the title of a 1950 East German movie.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the German chemical industry dominated the world market for synthetic dyes. The three major firms BASF, Bayer and Hoechst produced several hundred different dyes, along with the five smaller firms Agfa, Cassella, Chemische Fabrik Kalle, Chemische Fabrik Griesheim-Elektron and Chemische Fabrik vorm. Weiler-ter Meer concentrated on high-quality specialty dyes. In 1913, these eight firms produced almost 90% of the world supply of dyestuffs and sold about 80% of their production abroad. The three major firms had also integrated upstream into the production of essential raw materials, and they began to expand into other areas of chemistry such as pharmaceuticals, photographic film, agricultural chemicals and electrochemicals. Contrary to other industries, the founders and their families had little influence on the top-level decision-making of the leading German chemical firms, which was in the hands of professional salaried managers. Because of this unique situation, the economic historian Alfred Chandler called the German dye companies "the world's first truly managerial industrial enterprises". With the world market for synthetic dyes and other chemical products dominated by the German industry, German firms competed vigorously for market shares. Although cartels were attempted, they lasted at most for a few years. Others argued for the formation of a profit pool or Interessen-Gemeinschaft (abbr. IG, lit. Community of interest). In contrast, the chairman of Bayer, Carl Duisberg, argued for a merger. During a trip to the United States in the spring of 1903 he had visited several of the large American trusts such as Standard Oil, U.S. Steel, International Paper and Alcoa. In 1904, after having returned to Germany he proposed a nationwide merger of the producers of dye and pharmaceuticals in a memorandum to Gustav von Brning, the senior manager at Hoechst. Hoechst and several pharmaceutical firms refused to join. Instead, Hoechst and Cassella made an alliance based on mutual equity stakes in 1904. This prompted Duisberg and Heinrich von Brunck, chairman of BASF, to accelerate their negotiations. In October 1904, an Interessen-Gemeinschaft between Bayer, BASF and Agfa was formed, also known as the Dreibund or little IG. Profits of the three firms were pooled, with BASF and Bayer getting 43 % and Agfa 14 % of all profits. The two alliances were loosely connected with each other through an agreement between BASF and Hoechst to jointly exploit the patent on the Heumann-Pfleger indigo synthesis. Within the Dreibund, Bayer and BASF concentrated on dye, whereas Agfa increasingly concentrated on photographic film. Although there was some cooperation between the technical staff in production and accounting, there was little cooperation between the firms in other areas. Neither were production or distribution facilities consolidated nor did the commercial staff cooperate. In 1908 Hoechst and Cassella acquired 88 % of the shares of Chemische Fabrik Kalle. As Hoechst, Cassella and Kalle were connected by mutual equity shares and were located close to each other in the Frankfurt area, this allowed them to cooperate more successfully than the Dreibund, although they also did not rationalize or consolidate their production facilities.

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