Norway’s “big five” settle Canadian price fixing case

salmon fillet

FIVE of Norway’s largest salmon breeders have entered into a multi-million Canadian dollar price fixing case settlement following a class action over the border in the United States.

It follows a civil case involving claims brought by two Canadian consumers. It means the five, Mowi, SalMar, Grieg Seafood, Cermaq and the Lerøy Seafood Company, will be paying a total of CA $5.25 million (£3.1m).

According to the Norwegian business news site Finansavisen it became known almost four years ago that several producers and sellers of Norwegian salmon were being sued following allegations of price collusion.

This latest development follows a final settlement in the United States after a number of salmon buyers asked a Florida federal judge to approve a US $33m payout to resolve anti trust claims against the same companies.

The US anti-trust claims are thought to have involved up to 400,000 possible claimants who had brought the action against the likes of Mowi, SalMar, Cermaq, Lerøy and Grieg.

It should be stressed that all the companies strenuously deny any allegations of price fixing, claiming they are completely unfounded.

Finansavisen says the companies were originally sued for some 500 million Canadian dollars (£410m) .

A settlement statement says: “The plaintiffs and defendants have entered into a proposed settlement to avoid uncertainty, risk and costs of further litigation. The represented plaintiffs and the complaint handler believe that this settlement is in the best interest of everyone.”

Like the earlier US settlement, the statement says that while the defendants have “good and reasonable defences” they were settling “to obtain a final and domestic resolution of all claims that have been brought or could have been brought.”

They also want to “avoid further expense, inconvenience, the distraction of burdensome and lengthy litigation, and the risks associated with litigation and appeals.”

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