Archived — Competition Bureau Exposes Customer Allocation Conspiracy

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OTTAWA, April 31, 2011 — The Competition Bureau announced today that Kason Industries Inc. was fined $250,000 by the Federal Court after pleading guilty on March 8, 2011 to a criminal charge that it conspired to allocate customers for the sale of refrigeration and food service equipment components in Canada and the U.S.

Between January 2005 and December 2008, Kason Industries Inc. engaged in meetings with Component Hardware Group Inc., to allocate their major customers, allowing them to maintain uncompetitive prices.

During this period, Kason was responsible for approximately 40% of the overall sales of food service equipment components in Canada and the U.S., worth nearly $3.16 million to their allocated Canadian customers.

The Bureau's investigation benefitted from the cooperation of parties under the Bureau's Immunity and Leniency Programs, and from coordination with the U.S. Department of Justice, which also obtained guilty pleas in this matter.

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