German chains fined for price fixing

German chains fined for price fixing

The German cartel office Bundeskartellamt has fined several supermarket chains for their share in a price fixing scheme. Edeka, Metro and Netto all kept the prices of several beers artificially high, while AB InBev is also mentioned in the investigation.

Coordinated by AB InBev

The German investigation, launched in January 2010, has almost reached its conclusion, with 242 million euro in fines already. Edeka, Metro and Netto were fine for price fixing involving several AB InBev beers in the 2006 - 2009 time frame. The beer company itself managed to avoid any fines because it collaborated in the investigation, which showed that the brewer and the supermarket chains coordinated several artificial price hikes over the past few years. Because of AB InBev's intervention, several chains were "forced" to increase the price simultaneously.

 

Rewe was also part of the cartel, but similar to AB InBev, it decided to collaborate, avoiding any possible fine. In the meantime, Metro released a statement saying the price deals were made by a division that has since been closed.

 

Lidl and Rossmann were also fined: the former was involved in Haribo candy price fixing, while the latter had kept Melitta coffee products' price artificially high.