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No Proceedings Issued Against Schindler Lifts Over Historic Allegations

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
No Proceedings Issued Against Schindler Lifts Over Historic Allegations

2 April 2009 - The investigation by the Commerce Commission into alleged historic localized anticompetitive conduct involving a single employee in the South Island from the late 1980's to the early 1990's was officially concluded with the Commission issuing a warning letter to Schindler Lifts NZ, without issuing formal proceedings.

The investigation, which started In mid-2006, focused on historic allegations that one Christchurch-based staff member was involved in price-fixing with his counterpart at rival lift company, Otis, in the Christchurch market.

Schindler CEO, Dirk Ryken said that even though the outcome of the investigation is largely expected, Schindler is concerned that the Commission's public announcement contains unproven and potentially commercially damaging allegations suggesting that after almost two decades, current lift maintenance contracts may still be affected.

"As the Commission is aware, in the New Zealand market, maintenance contracts are on average put out to tender or up for competitive price comparisons every three years. This has been the case for over a decade so the Commission's comments yesterday aimed at building owners just don't stack up."

Mr Ryken said that the company is considering its response to the letter received from the Commerce Commission on the conclusion of the investigation and the incorrect public comments made by the Commission that current contracts mat be impacted.

"We are reviewing the Commission's letter and public statement and once we have had the opportunity to carefully consider the Commission's correspondence we will decide on making a formal response."

Schindler Lifts had cooperated fully with the Commission's investigation even though the concerns stemmed from practices that were in place prior to Schindler's purchase of the Christchurch lift business and that ceased shortly after Schindler managers took over the running of the company. Schindler Group internally has a Code of Conduct, enacted in 1996, which strictly forbids any form of anti-competitive collusions. The Schindler Group makes every possible effort to train and monitor its employees in connection with the Code of Conduct.

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