German court to rule in February on cement claims

German court to rule in February on cement claims
Published: 07 December 2006

A German court said on Wednesday it will decide in February on compensation claims by a Belgian firm against six cement companies following alleged price-fixing. 
 
Cartel Damage Claims (CDC) is seeking at least EUR113m compensation, alleging that Lafarge , Dyckerhoff , HeidelbergCement , Readymix, Holcim and Schwenk formed a cartel between 1993 and 2001 which caused customers to pay inflated cement prices. 
 
CDC specialises in taking over possible damage claims from companies or individuals who do not have the resources to pursue them in court. 
 
The Duesseldorf court said it will rule on Feb. 21. 
 
Separately, a German newspaper report this week said that German prosecutors were preparing charges against the same six cement firms over alleged price-fixing in a case dating back to 2003. 
 
The German cartel office is asking for its biggest-ever fine, totalling EUR660m, against the cement firms operating in Germany in 2003, with HeidelbergCement receiving the biggest fine at EUR252m.
 
The fines will only be paid if the cartel office wins the case in court.