Romania’s competition council fined the country’s main cement producers EUR28.5 million for allegedly fixing prices on the local market, the regulator said in a statement Thursday. The Romanian unit of France’s Lafarge SA, Lafarge Romcim, was fined EUR10.4m; Switzerland’s Holcim Romania, EUR8m; and Heidelbergcement AG (HEI.XE) unit, Carpatcement, EUR8.6m. The regulator said the three formed a cartel with the aim of imposing price levels on the local market between 2000 and 2004. Holcim Romania has been also fined an additional EUR1.4m for breaking competition rules when it bought a new cement plant.
However, Lafarge SA denied charges of cement price-fixing by competition authorities in Romania yesterday, and said it would appeal a fine levied on the company alongside Holcim and Carpatcement of Germany. “We reject this ruling and we are going to appeal,” a spokesman for Lafarge said late yesterday, adding that the company would also bring the matter to the attention of the EU Commission.