SANTIAGO – The companies that colluded for more than a decade to rig the market for bathroom tissue and other paper products should receive “exemplary” punishment, the head of the Chilean central bank said Tuesday.
“The news about collusion that we had last week and which is still in the press is certainly a negative thing for confidence. Those kinds of practices destroy confidence,” said Rodrigo Vergara at a seminar held by the financial newspaper Pulso.
“I emphatically and categorically reject this type of conduct, and therefore, the punishment must be exemplary,” he added.
Prosecutors announced last week that they formally accused the CMPC Tissue and SCA Chile (formerly PISA) companies of having created and participated in a cartel to set market quotas and fix the prices of their products.
The companies operated the cartel from 2000 up until December 2011, affecting the retail markets for toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, disposable diapers and facial tissues, according to the prosecutors.
The two firms hold about 90 percent of the market share for tissue paper products in Chile with annual sales totaling some $400 million, although they are facing a maximum fine of only $15.5 million under current law.