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The claim demands up to £382m in compensation for consumers who bought certain farmed Atlantic salmon products

Six of the world’s largest salmon producers are facing legal action following the launch of proceedings filed at the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal.

The claim demands up to £382m in compensation for consumers who bought certain farmed Atlantic salmon products from UK grocery retailers between October 2015 and May 2019.

The six defendants, all major suppliers of farmed Atlantic salmon to the UK market, include Mowi and its subsidiary Mowi Holdings, SalMar, Lerøy, Scottish Sea Farms and Grieg.

According to the claim, the six companies worked together to increase the price of farmed Atlantic salmon through various methods and are accused of manipulating benchmark prices for Norwegian Atlantic salmon.

The claim also accuses companies of exhibiting “cartel behaviour” and breaching competition laws, which are designed to protect consumers.

The overcharging of consumers continued until 31 May 2019, says the claim, shortly after the European Commission raided the offices of various Atlantic salmon farmers as part of a major investigation into price fixing in February 2019.

In January 2024, the Commission expressed its preliminary view that various Norwegian companies, including Mowi, SalMar, Lerøy and Grieg, colluded to fix short-term farmed Atlantic salmon prices in Europe between 2011 and 2019.

The legal action has been filed on behalf of UK consumers by Waterside Class Limited, a company set up to bring forward the claim.

It follows legal action from seven UK supermarkets, launched in March, which also seeks compensation for losses arising from alleged salmon producer price fixing between 2011 and 2019.

Asda, Iceland, Marks & Spencer, Ocado, Morrisons, Aldi and Co-op appointed Stephenson Harwood to seek compensation on their behalf.

Some of the salmon companies involved have already contributed to multimillion-dollar payments to settle class-action lawsuits bought on behalf of salmon consumers and other buyers in the US and Canada.

A Mowi spokesman said it has not been involved in any anti-competitive conduct and believe that the allegations are unfounded.

“Grieg Seafood has not yet received the lawsuit,” said CEO Andreas Kvame. ”Once received, we will examine the alleged infringement. However, as we have communicated in the past, Grieg Seafood denies any anti-trust infringements or anti-competitive behavior and will exercise all its rights of defence.