India: Offices of AB InBev, Carlsberg and United Breweries raided by antitrust watchdog

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has raided the offices of AB InBevCarlsberg and United Breweries in India to conduct investigation of alleged price-fixing for the past year. After being tipped off by one of the three companies that had filed a leniency application, CCI searched offices of the three leading Indian brewing companies in at least two cities, as Reuters reported on Thursday. According to undisclosed sources, damning evidence had been found in the form of “email exchanges showing that the companies were fixing prices.”

Under India’s Competition Act, the CCI can impose fines up to three times the profit made in each year concerned or 10 percent of annual revenue, whichever is higher.

This is already the second antitrust case for AB InBev in the last months.  In Belgium, EU antitrust regulators will most likely fine the brewing giant for blocking cheap beer imports of its Jupiler and Leffe brands from neighboring France and the Netherlands. (inside.beer, 21.9.2018)

In Germany, the German Federal Cartel Office imposed in 2014 fines totaling €338 million ($411 million at today’s exchange rate) after a voluntary declaration of AB InBev Germany concerning a participation in illegal price agreements in 2007. After several leading German brewing groups accepted a fine, Carlsberg Germany and its former CEO Wolfgang Burghard are now the only major brewers to fight the allegations.  (inside.beer, 13.6.2018)

 

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