Regulator Says Carter Holt, Fletcher Building fixed prices in Auckland market for timber
Carter Holt Harvey which is owned by Graeme Hart's Rank Group, and Fletcher Building the country's largest listed company, admitted to the Commerce Commission that they decided to fix prices for structural timber for a number of commercial customers in Auckland in late 2012 and early 2013.
Today, the anti-trust regulator in Wellington filed proceedings in the High Court against Carter Holt and Dean Dodds its manager and is awaiting a penalty hearing, it said in a statement. They cooperated with the investigation and have agreed to settlements in which they admit their conduct has breached the Commerce Act.
The Commerce Act makes price-mixing agreements between competitors unlawful.
Carter Holt is facing a fine of up to $10 million, or three times the value of any commercial gain resulting from the price fixing, or if that can't be determined, 10 percent of turnover of the interconnected bodies corporate.
Fletcher's distribution division has been approved immunity after it discovered its involvement in the price fixing earlier this year, told the commission and cooperated with the investigation, the regulator mentioned.
Shares in Fletcher Building fell 0.6 per cent to $8.48.
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