Germany fines sugar producers for price fixing

18th February 2014, Comments 0 comments

Germany's competition watchdog said on Tuesday it had slapped a fine totalling 280 million euros ($385 million) on the country's three biggest sugar producers for price fixing.

The three companies -- Pfeifer & Langen, Suedzucker and Nordzucker -- can still appeal the fine.

The head of the Federal Cartel Office, Andreas Mundt, said rhe sugar producers set up a regional cartel and for many years agreed to focus on their own home areas and not sell their goods in the areas of the other cartel members.

Sugar was exported abroad rather than sold to customers in the region of their competitors.

"The agreement was aimed at keeping sugar prices as high as possible," Mundt argued, saying the cartel was in place from the mid-1990s until 2009.

Suedzucker said in a statement of its own that it was fined 195.5 million euros, a sum that would not jeopardise its earnings for the current year.

© 2014 AFP

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