How will they bear it? German Cartel Office says to Gummi “€2.4M thanks!”

Published On 03/08/2012 | By Peta Stevenson | Cartels, Enforcement

The confectionary wars continue – this time before the competition authorities …. Mars GmbH applied to the German Bundeskartellamt for leniency and avoided any fine, but Gummi producer Haribo and two other branded confectioners have been subject to investigation, culminating in Haribo being fined €2.4M.  The Bundeskartellamt stated that the fine relates to meetings between the four companies in 2006 and 2007,  at which sales reps exchanged information on the state of negotiation at major retailers.

In announcing the fine on 1 August 2012, Bundeskartellamt President Andreas Mundt noted that while information exchanges of this nature are not hard core cartel agreements about price, supply areas, customers or quotas, such agreements do impair competition and are impermissible under competition law.

The decision is a salutary reminder that care should be taken in all discussions with competitors, especially for those in the banking sector in light of the new price signalling provisions that came into effect on 6 June 2012.

Photo credit: Stefan Munder / Foter / CC BY

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About The Author

is a partner in the Sydney office of King & Wood Mallesons where she specialises in competition litigation with experience in a wide range of jurisdictions. Peta also advises clients on the application of the anti-competitive conduct, consumer protection and access provisions of the Competition & Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) and related state legislation. In 2001/02 she undertook her LLM at the University of Cambridge, during which time she developed a passionate if fleeting interest in rowing.

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