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Colombia: Argos sanction over cartel participation upheld

 |  August 14, 2018

The State Council of Colombia ratified the sanctions imposed on cement company Argos, accused of being part of a cartel to fix cement prices (along with its rivals Cemex and Holcim) in 2005.

The investigation and sanctions originally took place between 2006 and 2008. In all three cases there were appeals, as well as ratifications by the State Council, all issued this year. The case of Argos had been appealed (and the appeal won) in 2012 by the Administrative Court of Cundinamarca, which annulled the fines imposed for participation in a cartel based, in part, on a presumed lack of competency by the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC) ) to impose such a sanction on the company.

According to the SIC, its investigation “fully proved, among other things, that prices presented a parallel behavior between June and December 2005 and simultaneous reactions in similar proportions at the end of that period; and there is sufficient evidence of the exchange of information and the meetings held by both the legal representatives and those responsible for the commercial area, which led to the collusion or cartelization between Argos, Cemex and Holcim. ”

In its ruling, the State Council states that “the Chamber agrees with the conclusions of the SIC, to the extent that since the opening of the investigation a description was made of the behavior of cement prices in the respective period, making the evidence of shortage of the product, effects on the supply of cement and the behavior of prices and sales, quite clear…”

Full Content: America Economia

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