The Hellenic Republic Competition Commission (HRCC), Greece’s competition agency by its decision dated December 01, 2015 found the Athenian Brewery S.A., a subsidiary Heineken N.V. for abuse of its dominant position.

The HRCC found that the Brewery, a dominant player in production and distribution of beer in Greece, had adopted a targeted policy to exclude its competitors from the on-trade consumption market (e.g. retail outlets) over the period of a decade.

To achieve the same, the Brewery, had employed various commercial practices such as payments conditional upon exclusive distribution agreements, foreclosure of competitive brands, loyalty and target rebates. Furthermore, the Brewery was found to have engaged in restrictive practices at the wholesale level, by providing wholesalers with significant economic motives that promote exclusivity and by exercising pressure on them not to trade or introduce competing products.

A fine of € 31.451.211 was imposed on the Brewery for the same. The company was also directed to cease the infringement and to introduce written contracts with amended terms, so as to avoid a repeat infringement.

(Source: HRCC Press Release dated December 1, 2015)