TCL to challenge Competition Commission, Trinidad

TCL to challenge Competition Commission, Trinidad
Published: 26 January 2012

Tagged Under: Trinidad Cement Company 

Trinidad Cement Company (TCL) has been granted an application for special leave by the Caribbean Court of Justice, allowing the cement producer to challenge a report on the region’s cement trade undertaken by Caricom’s Competition Commission.

This follows an investigation conducted by the commission into TCL’s operations regarding the production and sale of cement in Caricom which began in December 2009, the Trinidad Guardian reports. The seven judges that sat on yesterday’s panel ordered that attorneys representing the company, file documents relating to the case within seven days. In TCL’s application, which was filed on 1 November last year, the company’s legal team said the clients were seeking to claim declaratory and injunctive relief from the courts as well as ancillary orders against the commission.

The Suriname-based commission is mandated to monitor, investigate and penalise enterprises whose conduct prejudices trade and distorts competition within the Caribbean Single Market Economy. According to TCL in its application, the company claims that although the investigation began in late 2009, TCL was only informed on 2 September 2011 upon receipt of a notice of enquiry issued by the commission. The request for the investigation allegedly emanated from Caricom’s Council for Trade and Economic Development. TCL also claimed that it was never consulted by the commission or given the opportunity to respond, and therefore, deprived of its right to make representations to the commission.
“TCL says that it has been irretrievably deprived of its right and entitlement to avail itself of the procedural opportunities to object to and to make representations before any decisions were made by the commission to investigate and further to conduct an enquiry in respect to the COTED request,” the application stated.

In the application the company said it was requesting that the CCJ set aside or quash the enquiry relating to the investigation and/or to restrain or stay the holding of the purported enquiry.