Business Irish

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Three cement firms accused of below-cost selling to drive out rival

Tim Healy

A HIGH Court judge will case manage an action taken against cement producers CRH, Roadstone Wood and Kilsaran Concrete for alleged anti-competitive practices.

Goode Concrete has claimed the defendants have increased the price at which they are offering concrete for sale in Dublin since their alleged below-cost selling forced the collapse of Goode Concrete in 2011.

The defendants deny the claims and have contended that the price increases referred to were due to unprecedented increases in energy costs.

Yesterday in a preliminary judgment, Judge John Cooke said that he wanted to case manage the action in such a way that would cut down on time and expense for all the parties concerned. The case, the judge said, was to be broken up into distinct phases.

Evidence

The first phase would involve an exchange of pleadings and discovery of documentation. The next phase would involve the parties narrowing down the main issues in the case, while the next phase would deal with evidence from witnesses.

For the first phase, the judge ruled that Goode Concrete must provide €110,000 as security of costs in relation to its action against CRH and Roadstone Wood, and €85,000 in relation to Goode's proceedings against Kilsaran.

The judge noted that CRH and Roadstone sought security of €215,000 from Goode for the first phase, while Goode had offered to provide €23,000. Kilsaran sought security of €232,000, compared to €16,000 which was offered by Goode.

The judge adjourned the matter to early July. If the security has not been put in place Goode's claims would be struck out, the judge added.

Irish Independent

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