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German Brewers Fined Over Price-Fixing

Mon, 01/13/2014 - 2:46pm

BERLIN (AP) -- German antitrust authorities have fined a group of beer brewers a total of 106.5 million euros ($145 million) for illegal price-setting agreements.

The Federal Cartel Office said Monday that the companies involved fixed price increases for draft and bottled beer between 2006 and 2008. Five firms were fined — Bitburger, Krombacher, Veltins, Warsteiner and Barre — along with seven people deemed to be "personally responsible."

The office says the investigation was launched on the basis of information from the German branch of Anheuser-Busch Inbev SA, which wasn't fined as a result of its cooperation.

It says it then reached a settlement with the five breweries that were fined, a move that reduced their punishment. The office says investigations are ongoing against another six brewers, which it didn't identify.

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