January 10th, 2005
On January 9, 2006, fine paper distributors Cascades Fine Papers Group Inc., Domtar Inc. and Unisource Canada each pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy and were fined $12.5 million each, for a total of $37.5 million, for conspiring to fix the price for carbonless sheets in Ontario in 1999-2000 and in Quebec in 2000. Carbonless sheets are multi-ply forms with a chemical coating that transfers images from one ply to the next without the need for carbon paper.
The three distributors also undertook to fire certain key personnel associated with the conspiracy, and agreed to prohibition orders requiring them to educate their employees about complying with the Competition Act and inform them of the identity of personnel fired for involvement in the conspiracy.
In a press release, Commissioner of Competition Sheridan Scott said: “These record fines reflect the serious nature of this criminal behaviour and put corporate executives and employees on notice that they are accountable for their actions.”
Domtar and Cascades issued press releases explaining that they settled with the Bureau in order to avoid lengthy and costly litigation.
Published January 10, 2005
Competition Bureau press release (contains links to Agreed Statement of Facts and Prohibition order): http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/internet/index.cfm?itemID=2018&lg=e
Domtar press release: http://www.domtar.com/en/media/pressreleases/2359.asp
Cascades press release: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/January2006/09/c0794.html
article keywords: Competition law, Competition Act, Antitrust, cartel, conspiracy, price-fixing, carbonless paper, carbonless sheets, Competition Bureau