Commission to appeal Steel & Tube sentence

Press Release – Commerce Commission

The Commission has today filed an application for permission to appeal against the sentence imposed on Steel and Tube Holdings Limited (Steel & Tube) for false and misleading representations about steel mesh products.

Last month Justice Duffy imposed a $2.009 million fine on Steel & Tube in the Auckland High Court in relation to 24 charges under the Fair Trading Act. The Commission is seeking leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal on the bases that the Judge erred when sentencing the company, by:
• failing to properly attribute the knowledge of a Steel & Tube manager to the company;
• applying an excessive totality discount to the penalty; and
• failing to adequately take into account the size of Steel & Tube and the potential for it to gain from the conduct.

As this matter is before the Courts, the Commission will not be commenting further at this time.
Background
In October 2018 Steel & Tube were fined $1.885 million in the District Court for breaching the Fair Trading Act by making false and misleading representations about its steel mesh products which are used in construction to provide strength and stability in the event of an earthquake. In November 2018 the Commission filed an appeal against that sentence on the basis that the Judge erred when sentencing the company.

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