Peru to fine Kimberly Clark over toilet paper price fixing
The US company controls about 88% of the South American country's market for paper tissues and personal hygiene disposables.
LIMA, Peru — Antitrust regulators in Peru are planning to sanction Kimberly-Clark for conspiring for almost a decade with a competitor to set prices for toilet paper and other products in the South American country.
The regulator said Dec. 15 that executives of Kimberly-Clark’s local subsidiary and their counterparts from Chile’s CMPC worked together from 2005 to 2014 to set prices and co-ordinate promotions. They said the scheme, which was orchestrated in secret meetings at hotels and phone conversations, helped inflate prices by as much as 20%.
The disciplinary actions follow a similar price-fixing probe launched last year against CMPC in its home market and an effort by authorities in Colombia to dismantle the so-called toilet paper cartel in which another Kimberly-Clark subsidiary faces fines upward of $20 million for each infraction.
Together with CMPC, the American maker of Huggie’s diapers and Kleenex tissues controls about 88% of Peru’s market for paper tissues and personal hygiene disposables, which moves more than $250 million in annual sales, regulator Indecopi said.
The disciplinary action was made possible thanks to information provided by CMPC and could result in fines up to 12 per cent of each company’s annual earnings in Peru, Indecopi said. The 17 high-level executives, including general managers, involved are also subject to heavy fines.
Kimberly-Clark Peru said in a statement that it was co-operating with authorities but declined to comment further as the investigation was ongoing.
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