Germany’s cartel office announced this week that it would be smacking the country’s sausage producers with a series of heavy fines after uncovering evidence of price fixing arrangements going on for decades.
According to The Local, the Federal Cartel Office said Tuesday that it would be fining 21 sausage makers a total of €338 million, or just over $457 million, for colluding to raise prices regularly over the past decades.
"Numerous statements and documentation prove that there was a 'fundamental understanding' to agree regularly on requests for price increases," the cartel office said. The Herta Group, a subsidiary of Nestlé, is one of the companies included in the announcement. Company-specific fines have not been announced, but the individual fines vary from "a few hundred thousand euros to high digit millions,” the cartel office said in a statement.
The sausage makers are allegedly guilty of having met regularly in what the cartel office is calling the “Atlantic group” to arrange regular sausage price increases in the retail sector.
"In addition to this 'Atlantic group', a number of sausage makers colluded in jointly raising prices to the retail sector," the cartel office said.
In addition to this sausage fine, the cartel office said it expected to levy a record number of fines for anti-competitive behavior in 2014.