The European Commission has imposed fines totalling EUR 273 million on the participants of a beer cartel in the Netherlands. This is the fourth national beer cartel uncovered by the Commission, the other three being in Belgium, Luxembourg and France. A fifth investigation in Italy closed without any charges being brought. The biggest fine in this latest case was imposed on Heineken (EUR 220 million), while the other companies fined were Grolsch and Bavaria. InBev, as the “whistle-blower”, received full immunity. What is remarkable is that the proceedings in this case lasted more than seven years, leading the Commission to reduce the fines for every company by EUR 100,000.
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