> Articles > Dupont Accused of Price Fixing
Against DuPont Initiated By Axiom Plastics
Dec 07, 2007 04:30 AM
An Ontario judge is allowing a class-action lawsuit to proceed
to trial against E.I. DuPont Canada Co. for alleged price fixing
in the country's auto-parts sector.
Madam Justice Alexandra Hoy of the Ontario Superior Court of
Justice has issued an order to certify the suit that Aurora-based
Axiom Plastics started on behalf of makers of plastic auto parts
DuPont said yesterday it was disappointed with the decision and
is appealing it.
"It continues to be our position that the claims are
baseless, and that they do not reflect the manner in which DuPont
and our employees conduct business," the company said in a
David Sterns, a lawyer for Axiom, said the company intends to
prove at trial that uncompetitive prices have hampered the company
and auto-parts makers in the international market.
The statement of claim alleges DuPont, a subsidiary of the
international research and material manufacturing giant, broke the
federal Competition Act through arrangements with resin
The claim, which has not been proven in court, said DuPont used
"a system" designed to increase prices of high
performance resins, a key ingredient in the production of plastic
Axiom charged that it paid higher prices to DuPont's
distributors and could not negotiate lower prices from other
suppliers for similar products under the system.
In court, DuPont denied there is a system and called the
arrangements "preferential prices."
The company argued Axiom's allegations relate to exclusive
dealing and should be handled by the government's competition
Axiom, a small producer of plastic components, won a legal
battle against a major subsidiary of auto parts giant Magna
International Inc. in 2005.
The company gained a court order for an interim injunction that
prevented the Magna subsidiary from terminating 40 contracts until
a trial resolved a dispute between them.
Axiom had sued the Magna subsidiary for allegedly breaching the
contracts. It sought the injunction to force the subsidiary to
honour the contracts until the suit is heard.
A trial has not started in that case.
In ruling for the injunction, a judge said the Magna subsidiary
did not give reasonable notice of the contract cancellations,
which could have put Axiom out of business.