Chilean feed companies accused of fixing price
BioMar Chile, Skretting, Ewos and Salmofood are accused of maintaining an agreement to set the sale prices of salmon feed between 2003 and 2015. Ewos is likely to escape the fine for acting as whistleblower.
Chile’s National Economic Prosecutor's Office (FNE) presented to the Court of Defense of Free Competition (TDLC) a requirement that accuses collusion of the four main salmon feed companies operating in the country: BioMar Chile SA (BioMar), Comercializadora Nutreco Chile Limitada (Skretting), Ewos Chile Alimentos Limitada (Ewos) and Vitapro Chile SA (Salmofood). The Prosecutor's Office accused these companies of maintaining an agreement to set the sale prices of salmon feed between 2003 and 2015.
In its presentation, the prosecutor requested the TDLC apply 30,000 Annual Tax Units (UTA) to Biomar, Skretting and Salmofood. This is the maximum contemplated in the law when the accused events occurred, $70 million in total. The FNE requested this fine due to the severity and temporary extension of the agreement and because the companies are the only ones that sell salmon feed in Chile, offering their customers no alternatives. According to the FNE investigation, the price of feed represents more than 50% of the total cost of salmon.
In addition, the Prosecutor's Office requested the TDLC exempt Ewos from the fine for having delayed the existence of the agreement providing the background information required by the investigation and the evidence.