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The CMA has announced that two directors, Clive Dean and Nicholas Stringer, have been acquitted of charges under the criminal cartel offence following a trial at Southwark Crown Court. The acquittals came after a further defendant, Nigel Snee, had already pleaded guilty to the same offence last year. Mr Snee will appear for sentencing at a later date. The announcement states that the CMA accepts that in this case the jury were not persuaded that Mr Stringer and Mr Dean acted dishonestly, and that they should, therefore, be acquitted. However, the CMA notes that following a change in the law, for conduct after 1 April 2014, it is no longer necessary for the CMA to prove individuals acted dishonestly in order for the cartel offence to be committed. Click here.
The European Commission has fined eight manufacturers and two distributors of retail food packaging trays a total of €115 865 000 for having participated in at least one of five separate cartels. The eight manufacturers are Huhtamäki of Finland, Nespak and Vitembal of France, Silver Plastics of Germany, Coopbox, Magic Pack and Sirap-Gema of Italy and Linpac of the UK. The two distributors are Ovarpack of Portugal and Propack of the UK. The Commission found that the companies fixed prices and allocated customers of polystyrene foam or polypropylene rigid trays, in breach of Article 101. Polystyrene foam and polypropylene rigid trays are used for packaging food sold in shops or supermarkets, for products such as cheese, meat, fish or cake. Linpac benefited from full immunity under the Commission's 2006 Leniency Guidelines as it revealed the existence of the cartels to the Commission. Click here.
The proposed acquisition by Joseph Ash of W Corbett will be referred for an in-depth phase 2 investigation unless acceptable undertakings are offered. The CMA has found that the proposed acquisition may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the supply of galvanising services in the West Midlands region around the Corbett galvanising plant in Telford. Galvanising is a process used to protect steel from corrosion and is an input for a number of products, including products used in infrastructure projects. Click here.