Thu, Apr 15, 2010 - Page 2 News List

FTC price-fixing probe finds three paper makers guilty

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) yesterday announced the results of an investigation into recent price increases of paper and related products, saying it would fine three paper makers a total of NT$10 million (US$313,000) for price-fixing.

The FTC said its investigation showed that three paper makers — Cheng Loong Corp (正隆), Long Chen Paper Co (榮成) and Yuen Foong Yu Group (永豐餘) — were involved in price-fixing.

“Investigators found that from November last year through last month, the three companies repeatedly raised their prices at the same time and by the same amount, despite the fact that the companies did not incur the same cost increases for recycled paper, nor did paper-making constitute the same proportion of the companies’ businesses,” said Shih Hui-fen (施惠芬), vice chairperson of the commission. “The timing of the price increases was also inconsistent with increases in international paper prices.”

The companies raised their prices by about 40 percent.

“The three companies together control about 90 percent of the paper market, which means that their price-fixing activities have seriously affected the market,” Shih said.

The FTC issued fines of NT$5 million to Cheng Loong, NT$3 million to Long Chen and NT$2 million to Yuen Foong Yu, promising to issue heavier fines or instigate criminal proceedings should the companies repeat the violation.

All three companies declined to comment until they had received the official documentation.

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