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Norwegian Salmon Firms Face New UK Lawsuit Over Price-Fixing Allegations

 |  June 24, 2024

Several major Norwegian salmon-farming companies are facing a new lawsuit filed on behalf of U.K. consumers. The collective action, lodged with the U.K. Competition Appeal Tribunal on 20 June, demands GBP 382 million (USD 483.2 million, EUR 451.8 million) from Mowi, SalMar, Lerøy, Scottish Sea Farms, and Grieg over allegations of collusion and unlawful price-fixing.

The lawsuit comes in the wake of the European Commission’s announcement on 25 January that it is advancing a years-long investigation into price-fixing practices among these firms. The E.C.’s preliminary findings suggest that Mowi, Cermaq, Grieg, Bremnes, Lerøy, and SalMar breached E.U. antitrust rules by colluding to distort competition in the market for spot sales of Norwegian farmed Atlantic salmon in the E.U. No further comments have been issued by the E.C. since their announcement.

The new legal action has been initiated by Waterside Class Limited, a company formed specifically to represent around 44 million U.K. consumers. The company claims that these consumers paid up to 20 percent higher prices for Norwegian farmed salmon purchased at retail between 2011 and 2019 due to the alleged price-fixing. Waterside asserts that the inflated prices were largely passed on to consumers by retailers, meaning the majority of the financial damage was borne by the public.

Read more: UK Consumers Seek £382 Million Over Alleged Salmon Price-Fixing

“This action claims that some of the Atlantic salmon farming industry’s biggest companies have conspired to raid the wallets of hard-working shoppers,” said Waterside Director Anne Heal, a former director of regulatory affairs at BT and former managing director of strategy at Openreach. “This action aims to seek fair redress for the millions of British consumers who we say spent years overpaying for one of the U.K.’s favorite and highly nutritious foods.”

Heal emphasized that the collective action seeks to give a voice to affected consumers and ensure they are compensated for their losses. “By bringing this collective action, I want to give a voice to affected consumers across the U.K. and see them properly compensated for their losses. I also want to bring attention to market practices which harm consumers, and hold the defendant companies to account for their alleged wrongdoing,” she added.

Source: Sea Food Source