Canadian price fixing: Norwegian salmon farming giants in multi-million dollar settlement offer

Matthew Wilcox

The settlement, worth a total of US$3.8 million is awaiting final court approval.

Major Norwegian salmon producers – including Mowi, Salmar, Grieg, Leroy and Cermaq – have reached a settlement in Canadian class-action lawsuit alleging the illegal fixing of global and North American prices of farmed Atlantic salmon, a violation of Canada’s Competition Act.

The settlement, for a total of CAD 5.2 million (US$3.8 million) is awaiting final court approval, according to court papers filed October 6.If approved, after deducting legal fees and other costs, around CAD 2.45 million (US$1.5 million) will be left for eligible members of the settlement class.

The lawsuit encompasses all individuals in Canada who have purchased salmon from these companies since April 2013, excluding the defendants, their parent companies, subsidiaries, and affiliates.

Only settlement class member who purchased more than CAD 1 million (US$730,000) of salmon between 2013 and 2019 will be eligible to submit a claim, according to the court documents seen by SalmonBusiness. They will receive this either directly or indirectly through a contribution to Food Banks Canada.

The case was initiated by private individual Gregory Sills in 2020 and mirrors a similar suit filed by activist Irene Breckon. Both plaintiffs alleged price cooperation among the salmon farming giants, a claim that echoes another legal battle in the US.In that separate instance, Mowi, Leroy, SalMar, Cermaq, and Grieg settled for US$85 million with US seafood buyers and an additional US$33 million with around 400,000 indirect purchasers of salmon.

The development comes after the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice ceased its investigation into the alleged price collusion by the Norwegian salmon farmers, initiated in November 2019.The Canadian lawsuit specifies that the salmon in question includes farmed Atlantic salmon and products derived from it.


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