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Damages case begins for Finnish asphalt cartel

17 Sep 12 Helsinki’s district court has begun processing claims for millions of Euros in damages in an asphalt competition case.

Forty municipalities and the Finnish Transport Agency are making the claims agains seven asphalt companies and the national trade body.

In 2009, the Supreme Administrative Court ordered seven Finnish asphalt industry companies and the Finnish Asphalt Association (Lemminkäinen, VLT-Trading Oy’s bankruptcy estate, Skanska Asfaltti, NCC, Interasfaltti, Rudus Asfaltti, SA-Capital and Super Asfaltti) to pay an infringement fine for violations of the legislation on competition restrictions.

As a result, claims for damages brought by a total of 40 municipalities and the Finnish Transport Agency are pending in the Helsinki district court. The municipalities and state contend that restriction of competition resulted in inflated prices in the asphalt industry in 1995–2002 and caused them damages. The court began processing the claims today and the court cases are expected to be concluded in summer 2013.

 “At Lemminkäinen, we take violations of competition legislation very seriously,” said vice president, legal affairs Johan Nybergh. The total amount of damages sought from Lemminkäinen is €123m. “However, we do not consider that we have caused the municipalities and the state the damage they claim to have suffered, and thus in our view the claims for damages are without foundation.”

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