Fines on four cigarette manufacturers for distortion of competition
The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has imposed fines on four major cigarette manufacturers, totaling over 82 million euros.
Between July 2008 and July 2011, they distorted competition. They exchanged information about future prices of packs of cigarettes through, among other channels, wholesalers. As a result, the uncertainty surrounding the market strategies of competitors was reduced. That is prohibited.
ACM took this decision on May 27, 2020. ACM publishes the sanction decision today, because three manufacturers had asked the court to ban publication of the decision. Pending those proceedings, ACM was not able to publish the decision sooner. The District Court of Rotterdam has now ruled that ACM is allowed to publish the sanction decision.
The four manufacturers have filed objections against this decision.