Smith Hails "Spectacular" Animal Feed Cartel Fine

21 July 2010
SNP Member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee Alyn Smith has today hailed a massive 175 million euro fine on an animal feed phosphates price fixing cartel which increased costs for European farmers for three decades.
The cartel saw real price and market fixing across much of the EU, thought took a considerable time to investigate.  Smith has reiterated his call for a similar investigation of the EU market in fertiliser over concerns that the market is not operating as freely as it could be.

Smith said:

"This proves that while the wheels of Brussels sometimes grind slowly, they do get to the right result.  The scale and scope of this cartel is breathtaking when you stack it all up, as demonstrated by the scale of the fine imposed.

"Competition law is crucial to the operation of the level playing field across the EU, and the Commission is quite right to have imposed this fine.  I remain concerned that the operation of the EU market for fertilisers remains not quite as smooth as it could be, and while I'm not necessarily alleging unfair practice, I would like to see similar investigation of how the fertiliser pricing market actually works."