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Decisions

Fine cartels flour producers

22-12-2010

In a decision of December 16, 2010, the Netherlands Competition Authority has found that 15 Dutch, Belgian and German flour producers infringed the Dutch and European prohibition of cartels by making – in varying composition – several anti-competitive agreements. Several flour producers had an agreement not to take away each other's customers, making it harder for those customers to negotiate better prices. In addition, a competitor that did not take part in the cartel was bought and was taken off the market. Another competitor, one that did take part in the cartel, was compensated for revenue losses on the condition that he would not be a spoilsport. Furthermore, a complete flour mill in the south of the Netherlands was bought by a straw man, and was subsequently dismantled in order to prevent any new competitor from opening a new flour business there.
The Netherlands Competition Authority has imposed fines of EUR 81,6 million in total for these infringements.