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Colombia: Argos, Holcim and Cemex accused of forming cement cartel

 |  October 16, 2017

Colombia’s Superintendency of Industry and Commerce, led by Pablo Felipe Robledo, has announced sanctions against several international cement companies for allegedly engaging in uncompetitive practices that date back to August 2013. The 4-year investigation concluded with a recommendation of sanctions against Swiss cement-makers Holcim, Colombia’s Cementos Argos and Mexico’s Cemex.

According to the SIC, these three companies colluded to alter the pricing of cement between 2010 and 2013, “causing a rise of up to 30% in the value of concrete” and, in addition, establishing exclusive areas for sales of their products. Charges of procedural fraud and false testimony were also raised against Argos executives, as well as penalties that could reach 70 billion Colombian pesos (US$23.8 million).

According to the investigation, there is also evidence of manipulation of the pricing information delivered by the companies with the intent of purposely confusing the investigators and concealing any participation of the companies in the cartel. Lastly, the investigation also succeeded in acquitting Cementos Tequendama and Cementos San Marcos, as no evidence was found of their participation in the cartel.

Full Content: La Republica

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