Heineken, Carlsberg collusion charged
European Commission claims brewers carved up markets
Mar 1, 2002 - The European Commission has accused beer giants Heineken and Carlsberg of unfairly carving up markets and begun an investigation into alleged cartel activities. The EU's head office charged the Dutch and Danish brewers had "an agreement not to engage in intensive activities in each other's 'home' markets," in the Netherlands and Denmark.
The commission said they decided to pursue an investigation after carrying out raids at both Heineken and Carlsberg headquarters in the spring of 2000. Officials believe the two had an agreement to fix beer prices between 1993 and 1996 and added that it was also investigating similar price fixing by other brewers in France, Italy and Portugal.
Carlsberg said it would contest the probe at upcoming hearings with EU regulators that are expected to take place in the months ahead.
The probe against Heineken and Carlsberg comes amid a recent slate of EU anti-cartel investigations. The EU slapped a find of 90 million euro against brewers in Belgium and Luxembourg last December for market sharing and price-fixing.
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