US has closed price fixing probe, says Mowi

Mowi said today that the US Department of Justice has closed its investigation into salmon price fixing allegations at the company.

In a Stock Exchange announcement in Oslo today the company said: “Mowi has been informed by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice in the USA that they have no longer an open investigation into Mowi.

“Mowi has all along been adamant that the price collusion allegations have clearly lacked merit and are entirely unsubstantiated.”

The statement added: “With regard to the European Commission’s case handling there is no new information. This information is subject to the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.”

Later it was reported from Norway that three other companies under investigation — SalMar, Leroy and Grieg Seafood — had received similar clearances.

Three months ago it emerged that the long running dispute in the United States over allegations of price fixing by some of Norway’s largest salmon companies was reaching a conclusion.

Reports from the US suggest that a final settlement has been reached after a large group of salmon buyers asked a Florida federal judge to approve a US $33m (£29.9m) deal to resolve anti-trust claims against some of Norway’s largest farming companies.

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

All the companies strongly denied the claims and were believed to have agreed a deal in October to avoid lengthy and costly court action.

However, the issue remains active with the European Commission which conducted raids on Norwegian owned farms in Scotland in 2019. No further action has been taken by the Commission so far, however.

Updated Thursday 19 January