Pratt gets record fine

An Australian packaging company owned by a major Jewish philanthropist has been fined $33 million for collusion.

Richard Pratt’s Visy Industries was handed the record fine by Australia’s Federal Court on Friday. The fine followed Pratt’s admission last month that his company had engaged in price-fixing with its main rival, Amcor, between 2000 and 2004.

Pratt, Australia’s third-wealthiest man, is worth about $4.9 billion.

Papers filed during the course of the investigation revealed that a pair of executives at Amcor made blatantly anti-Semitic remarks against Pratt, a Polish-born Jew who fled the country with parents on the eve of the war.

“You know what the Jews are like. No wonder they own half the world,” one of the Amcor executives said, according to a transcript of the remarks.

“And you wonder why, ah, Hitler wanted to stitch them up, too,” the other replied.

Amcor apologized after the comments came to light last month.

Pratt’s family fund, the Pratt Foundation, donates more than $12 million a year, mostly to Jewish and Israeli causes. The billionaire philanthropist has promised the fine will not affect his philanthropy.

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