BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina’s CNDC antitrust regulator said on Tuesday it would launch a probe into whether steel company Acindar [ACIX.UL] had abused its dominant position in the market for long steel products, which are widely used by the construction industry.
The CNDC said Commerce Secretary Miguel Braun instructed the agency to investigate after a study it had previously completed showed that Acindar had a 68 percent share of Argentina’s market for long steel products between 2013 and 2016.
The investigation will focus on whether Acindar’s exclusive contracts with distributors prevented imports from entering the market at lower prices, the CNDC said, adding that the probe could result in fines or “pro-competitive government measures.”
Acindar said in a statement that it was aware of the investigation and had provided the CNDC with “all the documentation within its reach for a fast and efficient resolution of the matter.” It said its compliance program was in line with the “highest international standards.”
Acindar is controlled by ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel producer.
Reporting by Maximiliano Rizzi; writing by Luc Cohen; editing by Tom Brown