24 | AGO | 2019
Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL

Colombia fines Cemex for fixing cement Prices

12/12/2017
18:48
Reuters
Bogota
-A +A
Cemex, Cementos Argos, and Holcim allegedly agreed to set prices between January 2010 and December 2012, during which cement prices increased 29.9% versus inflation of 9.3% in the same period

Today, Colombia fined cement companies Cemex, Cementos Argos, and Holcim, along with some of its managers, more than USD$66 million (COP$200 billion), for fixing prices.

The three companies, which represent 96% of Colombia’s cement market, allegedly agreed to set prices between January 2010 and December 2012, during which cement prices increased 29.9% versus inflation of 9.3% in the same period.

“Argos, Cemex, and Holcim did not offer an economically reasonable or truthful explanation that would justify the price parallels, nor the way prices are set within these companies,” the trade and industry regulator said in a statement.

A spokesman for Colombia’s Argos said the company is reviewing the decision with a team of lawyers and will make a statement during the day. Mexico’s Cemex said it is preparing a response to the regulator. U.S.-based Holcim did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment.

The companies “abstained, in a conscious and coordinated manner, from competing effectively,” the regulator said.

The cement market in Colombia reported sales of more than COP$ 8 trillion between 2010 and 2012, the investigation showed.

The watchdog has undertaken five investigations since 1997 against companies in the cement sector with charges of illegal pricing.

The latest investigation is just one of multiple probes against cement companies by authorities in more than 30 countries or jurisdictions including the European Union, Spain, Colombia, India, Poland, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, United Kingdom, Belgium, among others, the regulator said.

sg

Mantente al día con el boletín de El Universal