Industrial bags cartel

Civil claims for compensation

30.11.2005

On 30 November 2005, the EC revealed that it had fined 16 producers of industrial bags €290 million for their part in a price fixing cartel, contrary to EC law. The operation of the cartel was confined to Germany, France, Spain and the Benelux countries.

Background

The EC Commission announced on 4 May 2004 that 43 companies across Europe were under investigation on suspicion of participating in a price-fixing cartel.

The investigation was started on the basis of information passed to it by one of the cartel members, British Polythene Industries (BPI).

Industrial bags

Plastic industrial bags are used to pack various products, mainly of an industrial nature, but also agricultural products, animal feed and building materials.

Fines

The Commission found a total of 16 companies liable and fines of €290 million were imposed. They were;

  • Bernay Film Plastique
  • Bischof+Klein GmbH & Co KG and Bischof+Klein France SA
  • Bonar Technical Fabrics NV and Low & Bonar PLC
  • British Polythene Industries PLC and Combipac BV
  • Cofira-Sac SA
  • Fardem Packaging BV
  • Kendrion NV
  • Koninklijke Verpakkingsindustrie Stempher CV and Stempher BV
  • Nordenia International AG
  • Nordfolien GmbH
  • Plasticos Espanoles SA and Armando Ãlvarez SA
  • RKW AG Rheinische Kunststoffwerke and JM
  • Gesellschaft Industrielle Beteiligungen mbH & Co
  • KGaA
  • Sachsa Verpackung GmbH and Groupe Gascogne
  • Trioplast Wittenheim SA and Trioplast Industrier AB
  • FLSmidth & Co A/S and FLS Plast A/S
  • UPM-Kymmene Oyj

Together, these producers controlled the majority of the market in industrial bags.

Civil claims for compensation

If you are a large user or purchaser of industrial bags, you may be able to bring the matter before an EU member state's national court and seek damages. Even though the Commission has fined the companies concerned, damages may be awarded without being reduced on account of the Commission fine.

IM experience

Our track record in group actions and major projects is based on actual results and decades of experience. We are currently involved in global cartel litigation concerning purchases of vitamins having taken instructions from several major food manufacturers. We have successfully pursued claims on behalf of tens of thousands of individual and corporate clients for matters as diverse as Equitable Life, Piper Alpha, the John Palmer Timeshare frauds and the defence of group claims on behalf of clients like Esso.

Contact details

If you would like to register an interest in the action and find out more please contact us.

For more information call 0370 1500 100 or drop us a line.