The Hellenic Competition Commission imposes total fines of 48,27 million euro on dairy processors for price fixing cartel

The HCC fined 10 companies in total for a number of serious infringements of Article 1 para.1 of Law 703/77 on free competition in the dairy products market.

According to the HCC the offenders: (a) agreed, during trade association meetings, to adopt a common pricing strategy towards dairy producers; (b) systematically exchanged valuable pricing information; (c) agreed to refrain from any marketing campaing in the fresh milk product market and in part of the geographic market for at least four months; (d) colluded for a limited period of time in the yogurt product market. The Trade Association nurtured the anti-competitive activities of its members, however no fine was imposed on the Association itself.

It was the first time a leniency application was filed under the Greek Leniency Notice (299/V/2006), only to be withdrawn later during the procedure – according to the HCC “as a result of pressure” apparently by other cartel members. This was also the first major cartel case to come before the HCC, however the level of fines imposed on the offending undertakings indicate that the HCC was hesitant to exercise its full powers. For more information, please visit the HCC’s website.