The vitamin price fixing affair which has already seen a cartel of some of the world's major producers fined by the European and US authorities is continuing in other parts of the world. This week saw the Australian Federal Court clear the way for a class action by Australian consumers against the European producers.
As with the cases in Europe, the Australian class action relates to multinational firms fixing prices for vitamins A, C, E, B2, B5 and betacarotene.
The European Commission has already fined eight companies for their part in the cartel, while the US authorities have also penalised the producers. The Australian case will focus on Roche, BASF and Aventis Animal Nutrition after the Federal Court ruled that the European-based parent companies could not remove themselves from the class action just because they did not have a physical presence in Australia. They will now face legal proceedings alongside their local subsidiaries.
The case is not likely to come to court for at least a year.