OTTAWA, ONTARIO (Jan. 9, 1:10 p.m. ET) — The Canadian Competition Bureau has fined foam makers Domfoam International Inc. and its associated unit Valle Foam Industries (1995) Inc. a total of $12.5 million for participating in a price-fixing cartel for polyurethane foam.
CCB said Jan. 6 that Domfoam and its affiliate, Valle Foam, pleaded guilty at the Ontario Superior Court in Ottawa to agreeing with competitors to fix the price of polyurethane foam products made at plants in Brampton, Ontario; Delta, British Columbia; and Montreal, over a period of 11 years. The company's products are used mainly in carpet underlay, furniture and bedding.
“Yesterday's guilty plea is the first conviction under Canada's amended conspiracy law,” said Melanie Aitken, Commissioner of Competition, in an official statement. “This investigation highlights the Bureau's reinvigorated mandate to stop consumer harm caused by price-fixing, and to secure significant fines for these serious criminal offences.”
CCB said the charges are the first to arise from the its investigation into price-fixing in the polyurethane foam industry. Anyone with information relating to this investigation is encouraged to contact the Competition Bureau.
According to the bureau, its investigation was helped by cooperation under the its Immunity and Leniency Programme, which offer incentives for parties to address their criminal liability by cooperating in the investigation and prosecution of other alleged cartel participants. CCB did not specify what companies were involved in the leniency program.