Amcor reaches final settlement with Cadbury over price fixing case

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 7th August 2009

Amcor announced today that the settlement that was conditionally reached two weeks ago with Cadbury has been finalised.

Packaging firm Amcor had been facing a payout of $235.8 million if Cadbury received the damages they were after for anti-competitive pricing arrangements entered into by Amcor and Visy earlier this decade. How much of that claim Cadbury received remains a mystery, however it is believed that the settlement may have included a minor portion of the damages and a deal to reduce future supply costs.

“The terms of the settlement are confidential between the parties but do not have any material impact on Amcor’s financial position,” the packaging firm advised in a statement.

“Cadbury remains a key packaging customer of Amcor, as Amcor has also entered into long term supply arrangements with Cadbury for Cadbury’s carton and corrugated box requirements in Australia and New Zealand.”

Cadbury’s claim centred on the cartel arrangement between Visy and Amcor which ran for almost five years. Amcor has never publicly admitted to a role in price fixing with Visy, despite Visy agreeing to pay the heaviest cartel penalty ever in Australia.

The Cadbury case could have set the scene for a series of costly battles, with a win for the confectioner to set a precedent for the thousands of other customers contemplating suing one or both of the packaging firms. Cadbury’s two-and-a-half year battle just to get the case to court and the lack of a guilty verdict against Amcor, however, ensures that the road to further litigation is a cloudy one.