Foul Roof  Tricks T aktrick
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You are invited to visit the Web page of UNCTAD - United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Sweden has ratified the conditions of Unctad and so has another 192 countries. This is a serious organization. By becomming a member each country has committed itself to make sure that domestic as well as foreign Trade is conducted  in compliance with the UNCTAD roles of competition. Doing business behind some sort of arrangement that "kills" the competition is nothing less than committing a crime.

In Sweden it is estimated that more than 50% of the industry operates behind some kind of arrangement to get away from the competion. The Swedish authorities are doing very little to rectify the problem compared with the authorities in Asia and the the United States. The Aroof  roof tile plant which this web site describes is just one of many other examples of what  big concerns do to "kill" competion to grow even bigger.

                                                                 Do click on the CP square - No doubt you will find it interesting.

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The German  Braas and the Swedish Benders co-operate in sly actions to squeeze the highest prices possible out of the market.

Unlawful, dirty and reckless - should have been put a stop to years ago.

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The German Braas, a gigantic Group of companies, entered the Swedish market in the 90 ties and thus following up what its mother company Redland earlier had started in Scandinavia. Some twenty Roof tile manufacturers were bought most of which were put to sleep almost immediately, even torn down by heavy machines to make sure they should stay down (see list below). Braas (later bougth by Lafarge) got established by running the biggest:  Zanda, Jönåker och Vittinge. The establishment was followed up by a Braas company in Sweden.

At this point control was secured over more than 50% of  the manufacturing and sale of Roof tiles in Sweden. Strongly and skilfully done. Still the giant Braas was not happy with a strong establishment. The market should be controlled in a powerposition.
                      

In order to achieve that next step a co-operation was taken up on the sly with Benders, the second largest manufacturer after Braas. This co-operation could not stand the light of the day and was thus carried out in the dark by the help of dummy companies.   An agreement was made, they should purchase and put to sleep the last of the few remaining Roof tile manufacturers that could cause troublesome competition. The target company was Hultapannan AB. When this was achieved the market was "structured" and prices could be raised the staff of Hultapannan was informed directly after the purchase by the vice president of Benders, Mr Ove Bender.       

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Benders was given to play the role of buyer. Braas kept in the dark since they were already too powerful to buy any further companies without notifying the authorities and a try to do so would have rendered a refusal.

At the time of purchase the author of this information was the sales manager of Hultapannan. Negotiations between Braas and Hultapannan was carried out openly in my presence.

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Carl-Erik Hansson owner and the managing direcor of Hultapannan AB claimed that Braas provided capital for a company to be in which he intended to carry on a sales agency for the Dutch Koramic group - a large Roof tile manufacturer and competitor of Braas. Further more Mr. Hansson claimed secured payment for salary and company car until his retirement. Thus a great deal of additional costs on top of the official purchase amount. In view of the fact that a competitor was being put to sleep it was worth while for Braas. A contract was drawn up to this effect.

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contract was made between Braas (or rather the dummy company of Braas) and Mr Hansson giving Mr Hansson the financial security he demanded for salary, company car etc. This contract was faxed around for approval between the negotiating parties. Benders was not a negotiating part and thus had no part in this contract. This was a contract involving only the real buyer.  The conditions of the contract were approved and the purchase of Hultapannan AB could be concluded which took place in October 1994. Mr Hansson was pleased and pointed out the advantages with the Braas agreement: prices could be kept up and also discussed between the two competitors Braas and Koramic. This is exactly what the competion laws do not encourage. The Legal term would be collusive tendering.  
                                                                                                                         
It is interesting to note that the year before Mr Hansson had an entirely different opinion about Braas´ purchasing and putting companies to sleep. Braas had then bought another company and the  l i s t  of purchased companies was already a long one.

In March 1993 Mr Hansson hands in his complaint to the competition authorities against Braas for excessive power listing companies bought by Braas. At this time we were active together within Hultapannan and very much agreed that it was a gigantic and unlawful power and monopoly creation in process by Braas.


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The competion Authorities (Konkurrensverket) left the complaint from Mr Hansson against Braas without any steps taken. Nor have they up to now taken any steps against Braas due to the complaint given in to them by Jan Ohlund at the time of purchasing Hultapannan. It is my opinion that this is due to Lack of resources and very comprehensive reorganisations within Konkurrensverket.  Fundamentally it has to do with the political will expressed by the government. It is a known fact that Konkurrensverket is understaffed and it is obvious it cannot cope with its vast task. At least 50% of the Swedish production work behind some kind of power structure that may well be unlawful. During the latter years this is also what Braas with the support from Benders have achieved.  This situation has brought prices to the highest level within EU. Foreign companies profit richly from their power position in Sweden at the expense of the swedish consumers.

Another foul instrument applied by Braas/Benders in creating their power position on the Swedish market is using black calumny.

The Roof tile producing plant A-Roof (built in recent years and recently put to sleep) in Voullerim, North Sweden, is an example of this method. The vice president of Benders, Mr Ove Bender, fouled the newspapers with false, defaming information about the constructor of the plant, interfered to create difficulties aiming at obstructing and stopping A-Roof and its production. Among other things it was said that the plant was put together with old, used parts unfit for pruduction. The man responsible was held out as a fraud. Most of the rubbish from Mr Bender was unfortunately printed and this together with a series of other actions involving Braas.  A-Roof was put to sleep.

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The Braas people were often sighted around the plant although they had no real cause to be there. Braas/benders did not only manage to put A-Roof to sleep. Braas, or rather the present LafargeBraas, managed at the bankruptcy of A-Roof to purchase (through a dummy company) this previously explained useless production plant,  take it appart and ship it to a Lafarge site in the US.

The production plant was not so bad after all. It had no doubt the right quality, but only in the right hands. The earlier statement by Mr Bender about overproduction of Rof tiles in Sweden was solved?  After the fall of A-Roof Braas/Benders have started building two huge Roof tile production plants!!! The term overproduction on the market does apperently apply only when the competitors of  Braas/Benders are buildinig new plants.

During the 90 ties roof tile prices were much lower, strikingly lower, then today. Tiles could be exported to countries within Europe. Today the Roof tile market is "structured", prices kept up on a high level and export hardly thinkable.

On the other hand it could be profitable to import. Benders for instance take continually fully loaded trucks from their tile producing plant in Germany for sale in Sweden. 

The chapter about defaming, intriguing, infiltration and the part that involves some other authorites and their actions in connection with A-Roof is very comprehensive and will be shown here as soon as it is compiled.


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