Cadbury’s Amcor battle delayed until July

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 8th May 2009

Cadbury’s court battle with packaging firm Amcor has again been delayed, with the damages case that was first filed in December 2006 still yet to make it to the courtroom.

The UK-based confectioner is seeking damages for allegedly paying higher prices for cardboard boxes, cans and PET products as a result of collusion between packaging heavyweights Visy and Amcor. The $120 million claim centres on the much publicised cartel arrangement* between the two packaging firms, which Cadbury suggests forced up the price on products they received from their primary packaging supplier – Amcor.

It now appears as if the case will finally get underway in the middle of the year, with the Federal Court deciding to postpone until July 22 at Cadbury’s request.

“As I have said, in granting Cadbury leave to file the PASOC, I am prepared to accept that granting leave will occasion further work,” Justice Michelle Gordon said on Tuesday. “I am not yet persuaded that all of the work identified by Amcor will be necessary or that performance of the necessary work will take as long as 4 to 5 months.”

Justic Gordon indicated that the Federal Court would be unlikely to permit any further delays to trial commencement.

“This case has long been delayed. There comes a point when a trial of the proceeding must commence. That time has come. In the circumstances, I will defer the commencement of the trial to 22 July 2009 to enable the parties to complete preparation.”

* Competition watchdog, the ACCC, discovered collusion between Amcor and Visy which spanned for almost five years, with Visy founder Richard Pratt receiving a $36 million fine for his company’s role. Amcor were not penalised after receiving ‘whistleblower protection’ from the ACCC.