New Zealand: Claims mount against construction group for unfair incentive deals

A rival maker of building supplies has filed a complaint with New Zealand’s Commerce Commission alleging Winstone Wallboards is offering unfair incentives to suppliers for not stalking competitors’ products.

According to reports, Elephant Plasterboard claims Winstone is unfairly squeezing its rivals out of the market by offering rewards to merchants for not stocking others’ products. Those rewards, the complaint claims, can include sporting event tickets, financial payments and overseas trips.

The complaints come eight months after regulators first announced it would examine allegations of anticompetitive behavior in the building materials retail market. At that time, reports say, Winstone parent company Fletcher Building confirmed Winstone’s agreements with merchants would be probed as part of the investigation. The company said it would fully cooperate with authorities.

Elephant holds just 3 percent of the market share, according to reports.

Full content: New Zealand Herald

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