The High Court has convicted and fined a company and its director for attempting to fix prices with a competitor.

The company operated a container depot and approached its competitor to set an agreed price in relation to bookings for container movements.  The competitor did not agree and the approach came to the notice of the Commerce Commission.

The company was fined $62,500 and its director $24,000, even though no price fixing agreement was ever reached.  The appropriate starting point for the fine for the company was $500,000 to $600,000, but the final fine was discounted due to the company’s inability to pay.

Cartel behaviour is taken very seriously, so it pays to get advice from professionals experienced in the area.

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