Cemex to contest cartel fine

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Mexico: Mexico's antitrust commission said it has fined the country's biggest cement company Cemex US$796,000 following an investigation into a failed attempt by a competitor to import cement into Mexico in 2004.

The Federal Competition Commission (CFC) said that the fine was for 'relative monopolistic practices,' which can include displacing competitors from the market.

Cemex said that it had been notified of the ruling, which it considers unfounded, and plans to contest it. "Cemex always acts in strict accordance with the law and will proceed with the legal resources that apply in this case," the company said.

The antitrust investigation followed a complaint by a group that was blocked from importing cement from Russia in 2004. Comercio para el Desarrollo Mexicano (CDM), which had been formed by local entrepreneurs and several foreign partners, was kept from unloading a 26,000t shipment, and had said it intended to import up to 0.5Mt/yr.

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