3 Aug 2015

Rural service firms accused of price fixing

9:44 am on 3 August 2015

The Commerce Commission has filed legal action against two rural services firms and five current or former employees over claims of price fixing in connection with the introduction of a new animal tagging scheme.

The regulator alleges PGG Wrightson and Elders New Zealand and the five individuals breached the Commerce Act by establishing three pricing agreements before the National Animal Identification Tracing Act (NAIT) came in force at the beginning of July last year.

The commission claims agreements were been made to fix the price of tagging un-tagged cattle at saleyards, increase yard fee charges and increase stock and station agent charges by introducing an administration fee for NAIT-related costs.

The commission is also in discussions with a third company, Rural Livestock.