Bottled water seems expensive enough on its own, but Austria recently discovered that some bottles were even more expensive than they needed to be, because bottled water giant Vöslauer has reportedly been fixing prices with retailers for years.
According to The Local, the mineral water giant is Austria’s largest bottled-water company by far, and controls approximately 40 percent of that country’s bottled-water market. Austria’s Cartel Court says Vöslauer has been fixing prices in tandem with the country’s retailers, including grocery stores and supermarkets, on several different occasions between 2007 and 2012. The court ruled that the company was guilty of colluding to fix prices on its non-alcoholic beverages, specifically bottled mineral water, and has levied a fine of €653,775 against the company for "the anti-competitive practices related to influencing retail prices of certain non-alcoholic beverages, especially bottled water, in the period between January 2007 and December 2012.”
Vöslauer reportedly waived its right to appeal the court decision, so the fine will be final.