South Korea: Six cement makers fined for price rigging in South Korea

Bymc2008

Updated Wed, 06 Jan 2016 14:00:37 GMT

South Korea: South Korea's antitrust watchdog has fined six local cement makers a combined US$168m for fixing the prices of cement products and divvying up the market, according to Dow Jones.

According to the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), cement companies have allegedly colluded to rig the prices of cement products by controlling output and market share in 2011. The suspected companies are Ssangyong Cement Industry Co., Tongyang Cement & Energy Corp., Hanil Cement Co., Sungshin Cement Co., Hyundai Cement Co. and Asia Cement Co. Ssangyong was set to take 22.9% of the total market share, while Tongyang and Hanil were in charge of 15.1% and 14.9%, respectively.

"Managers of the six companies had regular monthly meetings to oversee whether or not the members had complied with the arranged shipments," said the FTC. The prices of cements surged by 43% year-on-year in April 2012.

Industry leader Ssangyong was slapped with US$73.6m of fines, followed by Hanil with US$34.5m and Sungshin with US$36.7m. Tongyang was exempted from the penalty, as the cement maker has been under court receivership since October 2013.

The FTC said that it will strictly crack down on price-rigging practices in backbone industries to build sound market order and fair competition.