Greece: Heineken’s US30m fine upheld

An appeals court has upheld a multi-million fine against Heineken imposed by the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC).

The appeal came after a 2015 decision by the HCC against Heineken’s subsidiary Athenian Brewery (AB) in Greece and found it engaged in “illegal anti-competitive market abuse” for almost 20 years in that country.

The HCC found AB forced an illegal policy to exclude local competitors from “all channels” — including bars, restaurants, retail and wholesalers.

Along with Heineken, the brewer sells Alfa and Amstel in Greece.

“Following a 12-year-long HCC investigation, the longest in its history, Athenian Brewery was found to have systematically abused its dominant market position in violation of Greek and EU competition law,” a statement from the brewery read.

Macedonian Thrace Brewery welcomed the appeals court judgment against Heineken’s 98.8% owned Greek operating company and is claiming the decision could mean a judgment against Europe’s biggest brewery for damages exceeding €100 million (US$114 million). It described the ruling as “damning”.

Full Content: The Drinks Business

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