Peru to fine Kimberly-Clark and Protisa for price-fixing

Peru’s commercial trade regulator will levy fines against American firm Kimberly-Clark and its Chilean competitor Protisa for fixing the price of toilet paper in Peru.

Peru’s Indecopi detected collusion which pushed consumers’ prices up 10% to 20% between 2005 and 2014. Over that period, a four-pack of Kimberly-Clark’s signature Suave brand grew almost 50% from $0.65 to $0.95.

“Indecopi has reasonable evidence that Kimberly-Clark and Protisa, the two leading companies of toilet paper and other tissue-paper products in the Peruvian market, have colluded in the nationwide pricing of their products including discounts and promotions between 2005 and 2014 to the detriment of consumers,” an Indecopi official told RPP.

“That is to say they had a secret deal under the table by which, instead of competing, both companies acted as one in coordinating prices and discounts.”

Indecopi collected evidence including emails, company memos and testimony from current and former employees of both companies. Some officials from Protisa are cooperating with Indecopi in exchange for leniency under Peru’s clemency program for corporate whistleblowers.

Kimberly-Clark and Protisa control 33% and 55% of Peru’s $237 million toilet paper market for a total of 88%. The American company’s brands include Suave, Kleenex and Scott, while its Chilean counterpart markets the Elite and Noble brands.

Indecopi launched investigations into Kimberly-Clark last year after growing suspicious of the company’s pricing of Huggies diapers relative to Protisa’s Babysec brand.

Protisa’s parent company in Santiago, CMPC, is facing similar antitrust investigations with its competitors in Chile and Colombia.

The fines, which could exceed $1 million for each company and up to 17 executives, may take over a year to determine.


El Indecopi abre procedimiento sancionador por presunta concertación de precios de papel higiénico

Indecopi sancionará a Kimberly Clark y Protisa por concertar precios de papel higiénico (Gestion)

Indecopi: Dueños de Elite y Suave habrían concertado precios (RPP)

Kimberly Clark y filial de CMPC habrían concertado precios en el mercado de papel higiénico (Semana Economica)

Fabricantes de Elite y Suave se aliaron contra consumidores (El Comercio)

  • It is good to see that Indecopi is trying to protect the general consumer in Peru. Unfortunately, I have filed 3 separate Libro de Reclamaciones complaints and NONE of them have been responded to by the companies – Avianca, Pro Mart and Sodimac.
    All the complaints were for less than $100, but I do not feel Indecopi takes small claims seriously. When I post my concerns on various expat web sites, other people feel the same way.
    You should not have to be the general population to have Indecopi protect your interests – as individual consumer issues sometimes lead to larger issues of conspiracy or fraud. As a retired CONSUMER ADVOCATE from the US, I am disappointed by what I have witnessed first hand with Indecopi here in Peru.
    Can any of the readers of this web site help me? I can be reached at email – [email protected]. We as expats, are all in this TOGETHER. My efforts are to make a better experience in Peru – for EVERYONE!
    The efforts of Perureports is a start. Keep up the great reporting – Colin.

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