Colombia SIC starts probe in nine cement producers

Colombia SIC starts probe in nine cement producers
Published: 28 February 2005

Colombian industry and trade regulator SIC confirmed it was investigating nine leading cement producers and distributors in the country for alleged illegal competition practices, it was reported on February 25, 2005.  The nine companies inlcude Cemex Colombia, Holcim, Cementos Paz del Rio, Compania de Cementos Argos, Cementos del Caribe, Cementos Rioclaro, Compania Colombiana de Clinker (Colclinker), Cementos de Caldas, Cales and Cementos de Toluviejo (Tolcemento).  The main charges included direct or indirect agreements for lower sale price and terms of trade, prevention of the free access to the local market, and violations of the free market competition rules. 

Independent producer Cementos Andino is among the companies which have seen themselves damaged from the lack of free competition. Cementos Andino operates plants in San Gil and Cajica, and has recently opened a new plant in Barranquilla.  SIC already investigated some of these companies for a violation of free market competition rules in 1997.