The High Court has fined a company $150,000 for agreeing with two competitors to fix a minimum price.

The taxi company arranged that it and two of its competitors would charge a minimum fare from Wellington Airport.  The arrangement started in October 2020, but ended in November 2020 when the Commerce Commission began investigating the arrangement.

The Court held that the starting point for the fine would have been in the range of $500,000 to $600,000, but reduced it to $150,000 due to the financial position of the company and other mitigating factors.  The fine is to be paid in instalments over four years.

The Court said that the company had been the instigator of the agreement and most of the company directors had known about it and approved it and that this increased the seriousness of the offending.

Cartel conduct can cover many activities such as allocating markets or market shares, bid rigging, restricting production or in this case price fixing.

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