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Proceedings filed against herd management and milk testing company for cartel conduct

21 December 2017

The Commerce Commission has filed proceedings in the High Court at Auckland against GEA Milfos International Limited for alleged cartel conduct in the supply of milk testing products and services and herd management systems. 

The Commission alleges that Milfos breached the Commerce Act by engaging in cartel conduct between mid-2012 and September 2014. The conduct relates to Milfos allegedly entering into an agreement with a competitor to fix, control or maintain the prices of milk testing products and services and herd management systems. 

The Commission alleges that Milfos and its competitor agreed to use a common quote calculator to generate quotes for retail customers.

The Commission is seeking a declaration that Milfos breached the Commerce Act, a financial penalty and costs.

The Commission has also warned Smart Farm Technologies Limited over its role in the conduct. A copy of the warning can be found on the enforcement response register.

As the case is before the Court, the Commission cannot comment further at this time. 

Background

GEA Milfos International Limited

Milfos is a designer, manufacturer and installer of dairy technologies for milking, cooling, stalling and automation. Its primary business is offering the systems and equipment required for milking systems, including sheds, stalls and milking equipment (including milk sensors), and herd management systems.

Milk testing and herd management

Dairy farmers undertake milk testing to gain information about the health and milk output of their animals. Automated milk sensors can provide results including somatic cell count, milk yield, fat, protein, and lactose. The software can also be used for herd management including identification, drafting, milking, and analysis of animals and their milk output.