MELBOURNE, Australia (April 14, 2010)—An Australian curt has fined four makers of marine hose a total of about $7.7 million for engaging in a cartel.
The Federal Court in Melbourne levied penalties of $3 million on Trelleborg Industries S.A.S, $2.5 million on Dunlop Oil & Marine, $1.58 million on Bridgestone Corp., and $630,800 on Parker ITR.
In June 2009, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission instituted court proceedings alleging the firms took part in a cartel for marine hose between from 2001 to 2006, which included the Australian market.
ACCC Chairman Graeme Samuel said called the companies' conduct very serious, deliberate, ongoing and involving high value transactions. He said the firms rigged bids, controlled prices and allocated market share in Australia and elsewhere in the world.
The ACCC said criminal sanctions for serious cartel conduct do not apply in this instance because the activity predates the 2009 amendments to Australia's Trade Practices Act. The commission said the U.S. Department of Justice and United Kingdom Office of Fair Trading helped in the investigation