Euro 82 million fine for tobacco manufacturers for unfair competition | NOW


Four large tobacco producers have been fined a total of 82 million euros for unfair competition, the regulator Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) announced on Tuesday. These are British American Tobacco (BAT), Japan Tobacco International (JTI), Philip Morris and Van Nelle. The companies market numerous well-known brands such as Marlboro, Lucky Strike, Camel and Gauloises.

Between 2008 and 2011, the four companies would have received retail prices from competitors in advance. As a result, the four groups were able to align their own prices to this, which led to distortions of competition, according to ACM.

In the case of tobacco, it is not the retailers, but the producers who determine the consumer prices. Through customers, including wholesalers, the four manufacturers received information on competitors’ prices even before retailers started charging these prices. That’s not allowed.

For example, a JTI employee wrote in an e-mail addressed to a wholesaler: “Here is the BAT price list. If you receive ITN (Van Nelle, ed.) And PMI (Philip Morris, ed.), Send it po (per roundabout, ed.) to me. “

The highest fine is for BAT, which has to pay more than 31 million euros. Philip Morris, JTI and Van Nelle have to pay fines of 27.5 million, 13 million and 10.4 million euros respectively.

The manufacturers have appealed the decision. Three out of four also opposed the publication of ACM’s decision. The court in Rotterdam has rejected the requests for suspension.

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