The Commerce Commission today filed proceedings in the High
Court against Graeme Hart's forest products group Carter Holt
Harvey (CHH) for price fixing in the Auckland timber market.
CHH entered into an understanding with Fletcher Distribution,
which is part of Fletcher Building, to fix prices in respect
of the supply of structural timber to commercial customers in
Auckland, in breach of Part 2 of the Commerce Act. The
understanding operated during the latter part of 2012 and
early 2013, the Commission said.
Proceedings had also been filed against a CHH manager, Dean
The commission said it had not filed proceedings against
Fletcher Distribution because it had been granted immunity in
accordance with its "cartel leniency policy".
"Fletcher Distribution discovered its involvement in the
understanding earlier this year, made the commission aware of
the situation, and cooperated with the commission's
investigation," the commission said.
CHH and Dodds had also cooperated with the commission's
investigation, and both had entered settlements with the
commission in which they admit that their conduct breached
the Commerce Act, it said.
A penalty hearing before the High Court will take place "in
Section 30 of the Commerce Act makes price-fixing agreements
between competitors unlawful. A company contravenes section
30 may be ordered to pay penalties under section 80 of the
Commerce Act. The penalty can reach up to $10 million.