Stora Enso, UPM and Metsäliitto price-fixing cartel

Posted: 6 February 2007 in Europe, Stora Enso, UPM

Stora Enso, UPM and Metsäliitto deliberately violated Finnish competition law by exchanging information with each other on the price of timber, according to a report issued by the Finnish Competition Authority in January 2007.

The heads of forestry and regional directors of the companies maintained the cartel between 1997 and 2004. Jorma Saarimaa, regional head of UPM’s acquisition area in Southern Finland told the Competition Authority that “all regional managers of UPM-Kymmene, Stora Enso, and Metsäliitto who took part in a meeting on the matter, knew how illegal the discussions were. . . it was also made clear that no documents were to be made of the meeting”.

The Competition Authority began its investigations three years ago after being contacted by UPM. Stora Enso faces fines of €30 million and Metsäliitto €21 million. The whistleblower, UPM, will not be fined.

Between them, UPM, Stora Enso and Metsäliitto buy about 80 per cent of all Finnish timber.

In 2005, UPM was fined more than €56 million by the European Commission for playing a leading role in a price-fixing cartel in the manufacture of plastic industrial bags.

  1. joe blatner says:

    Dear Mr. Lang:

    I’ve been selling to the pulp and paper industry for over 40 years, and it boggles my mind on their purchasing practices. No wonder they are all having trouble making money. I recently quoted on some valves, but told they have to buy from prefered supplier, at a cost of over $3000, from my bid. I also was selling a superior product.

    Many Valve companies I represent say, this single source is a way to eliminate competition, which limit the Mill and their options. PVF magazine(Pipe,Valve & Fitting) states that these agreements aren’t good for either the end user or for the valve manufacture. They stifle product development, and the customer loses out on manufacture know how, since his supplier is no longer in the loop. I believe in short, many valve suppliers will charge for their services, since they are on the outside looking in.

    Thank you for reading my rant.

    Joe Blatner
    JB Industrial Sales, LLC
    Portland, Oregon

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