The CBb Appeals Tribunal has made a ruling on April 6 in one of the juice cartel cases in the cold store sector. The CBb ruled that the Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) was allowed to impose a fine on the companies involved in this case.
In 2015, ACM imposed more than 12.5 million euros in fines for anti-competitive agreements between various companies in the cold store sector. Most of the fines are irrevocable and paid.
The case in which the CBb ruled concerns a fine of 694,000 euros to H&S Coldstores. The company cools and processes fruit juices. During the infringement period the company was called Van Bon Coldstores Beneden-Leeuwen. In addition, there are 3 other proceedings concerning anti-competitive agreements about the storage of fish and fruit juices in cold stores.
The CBb has ruled that ACM has rightly established a cartel violation in this cold store case and that H&S can be fined for it. H&S has been in contact with another company about rates and offers and other competition-sensitive information has also been exchanged in the field of storage and processing of fruit juices and concentrates in cold stores in the Betuwe.
Even when companies jointly investigate the possibilities of a collaboration or takeover, they are not allowed to act in contravention of the cartel prohibition. The CBb considers the fine imposed to be appropriate in view of the seriousness of the violation. The fine imposed is thus irrevocable. No appeal is possible.
More information can be found in the ruling by the CBb.