Praxair rejects Brazil allegations of anti-competitive activities

02 September 2010 17:40  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--Praxair on Thursday rejected allegations by Brazilian authorities of anti-competitive activities.

Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) had imposed a Brazil reais (R) 2.2bn ($1.3bn) fine against White Martins, Praxair’s Brazil-based subsidiary, it said.

“Praxair and White Martins are shocked by the fine and absolutely reject all claims, including the allegation that White Martins is a repeat offender,” Praxair said.

White Martins is the leading industrial gases company in South America, according to information on Praxair’s website.

“Praxair strongly believes that the allegations of anticompetitive activity against our Brazilian subsidiary are not supported by valid and sufficient evidence,” it added.

“We further believe that the fine represents a gross and arbitrary disregard of Brazilian law.”

Praxair added that it was confident it would have the fine overturned on appeal.

Analysts at a German bank, Bankhaus Lampe, said the case involved total fines of reais 2.94bn against five industrial gases companies.

Brazilian authorities alleged that the firms had engaged in price-fixing and market sharing, the bank said, citing an industry report from Brazil. Authorities started their investigation in 2003, it added.

($1 = R1.73)

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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