Last week, Greek brewing company Macedonian Thrace Brewery filed a $105.7 million lawsuit against Heineken and its Greek subsidiary Athenian Brewery, accusing the company of allegedly bullying retailers and bars into stocking its products.[related]
The lawsuit, which was filed on Feb. 24 in Amsterdam, claimed that Heineken and Athenian Brewery have engaged in unfair trade practices that keeps them at the top of the Greek beer market with shares as high as 70 percent over the past 15 years, Court House News reported.
“For decades Heineken has been acting like a giant bully who’ll stop at nothing to get its way,” Demetri Politopoulos, founder and CEO at Macedonian Thrace Brewery, said in a statement.
“It has been illegally distorting the Greek beer market while protecting the supremacy it wields, by coercing and intimidating distributors, retailers and wholesalers, and ultimately ripping off consumers.”
The Macedonian Thrace Brewery lawsuit comes after a 12-year investigation by the Hellenic Competition Commission that found Athenian Brewery in breach of Greek and EU competition law. The commission eventually fined the brewers $33.3 million and ordered them to stop unfair practices or be fined $10,500 a day.
Heineken and Athenian Brewery announced that they plan to appeal the lawsuit, according to Court House News.