Heineken fined $297 million for price fixing

EU regulators fined Heineken $297 million for fixing Dutch beer prices.

The European Commission also ordered Grolsch to pay $42.9 million and Bavaria $31 million for a cartel it said they ran from at least 1996 to 1999 to coordinate Dutch beer price increases.

InBev was exempted from any fine because it blew the whistle on several European beer cartels after regulators caught it price-fixing in Belgium.

EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said the high fines were a warning to any company currently involved in an illegal cartel that increases prices for customers.

“If you do take part in cartels, you will face very substantial fines, so don’t be tempted to start is my advice,” she said. “If you are already in a cartel, then blow the whistle to the Commission to gain immunity before someone else blows the whistle on you.”

[Via BusinessWeek]