Salmon farmers face $500M class action over price-fixing allegations in Canada

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Lawsuit would include anyone in Canada who bought farmed salmon and related products after July 1, 2015.

CBC reports that Norwegian salmon farmers “with business interests in North America” are facing a potential massive class-action lawsuit seeking up to half a billion dollars over allegations they colluded to fix the prices of the product that ended up in Canada.

The lawsuit would include anyone in Canada who bought farmed salmon and related products after July 1, 2015.

The defendants include Norwegian companies Grieg Seafood, Leroy Seafood Group, Mowi, and their subsequent U.S. and Canadian subsidiaries. SalMar and the SalMar and Leroy-owned Scottish Sea Farms are named also.

“The defendants and their unnamed co-conspirators control the Canadian salmon market through their market share,” said the statement of claim filed by Toronto-based Sotos LLP.

It alleges they were part of a conspiracy “to fix the global and North American prices of salmon.”

Mowi and Grieg gave the publication statements that the claims are unfounded.

“The allegations have not been tested in court, and no statements of defence have been filed at this point. The lawsuit needs judicial approval to proceed as a class action,” explained CBC.

In February 2019, antitrust regulators raided the offices of salmon farmers Grieg Seafood Shetland, Lerøy-SalMar owned Scottish Sea Farms and Mowi in Scotland, in a suspected cartel inquiry.

Later in the year in November, US Department of Justice announced that it was opening a criminal investigation of Norwegian salmon giants involving allegations of similar conduct.

Since February, a number of small businesses have been bringing law action suits against the salmon giants based on US anti-trust legislation.