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UK: Balmoral loses legal fight overprice fixing fine

 |  February 17, 2019

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) issued the penalty to Balmoral Tanks, a subsidiary of Aberdeen-based engineering services company Balmoral Group, after it was found illegally exchanging price information in a secretly recorded meeting in 2012.

The watchdog stated that Balmoral, a supplier of steel water tanks, took part in an exchange of competitively-sensitive information on prices and pricing intentions with three other companies, breaching competition law.

In October 2017, the Competition Appeal Tribunal upheld the CMA’s fine on Balmoral, in a judgment which highlighted the risks for businesses tempted to share information with competitors. Balmoral had sought to challenge the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s ruling that the discussions breached competition law and its decision to uphold the penalty imposed. The Court of Appeal on Friday, February 15, dismissed the challenge in its entirety, and fully upheld the CMA’s decision.

The CMA’s Executive Director of Enforcement, Michael Grenfell, commented, “This important judgment from the Court of Appeal sends a clear and unequivocal message, not just in this sector but to all businesses across the UK. If companies exchange competitively-sensitive, confidential information – even at just one meeting – that is itself a breach of competition law.”

Full Content: Gov UK

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