Embraco North America has been fined $1.5m by the Federal Court after pleading guilty to criminal charges that it fixed the price of hermetic refrigeration compressors.
The Bureau’s investigation revealed that, between January and December 2005, Embraco conspired with its competitors to fix the price of hermetic refrigeration compressors sold in Canada and elsewhere.
The compressors were primarily sold to W.C. Wood Corporation, located in Guelph, Ontario, and used in the manufacture of various brand-name chest freezers. The hermetic refrigeration compressors that are the subject of the guilty plea are mainly purchased by manufacturers of household refrigerators and freezers.
“We are satisfied that this company recognized its criminal behaviour,” said Melanie Aitken, Commissioner of Competition. “We continue to work diligently to uncover these unambiguously harmful conspiracies.”
Embraco sold hermetic refrigeration compressors to W.C. Wood Corporation that were manufactured in Brazil. Prior to negotiating its annual supply contract, Embraco and another competitor exchanged information on their hermetic refrigeration compressor prices, production capacities and other market intelligence.
Embraco and its competitor reached an agreement that they would increase prices for hermetic refrigeration compressors sold to W.C. Wood Corporation in Canada.
The Bureau’s investigation into the alleged conduct of other hermetic refrigeration compressor manufacturers continues.