MTB Welcomes Record Competition Fine for Athenian Brewery, Heineken’s Subsidiary in Greece
Dec 04, 2015, 04:00 ET
KOMOTINI, Greece, December 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
The Greek Competition Commission (HCC) has found Athenian Brewery S.A., a subsidiary of Heineken N.V., guilty of systematic violations of competition law in the Greek market over a period of 15 years and handed the Dutch-owned brewer a record fine of EUR 31.45 million.
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Athenian Brewery's commercial policy in Greece severely impeded the competitiveness of the beer market, limiting the growth of smaller breweries, restricting consumer choice and resulting in higher prices across the board.
Although the decision is undoubtedly a positive development, severe structural problems continue to exist to this day, with over 85% of the Greek beer market controlled by multinationals Heineken and Carlsberg, partners in a consortium that acquired S&N.
The HCC's decision is just a first step in the process of opening up Greek markets to fair competition. MTB calls upon the Greek and European authorities to be increasingly vigilant to prevent continuing illegal restrictive practices which stifle a healthy and competitive market, limit job creation and ultimately hinder the growth and recovery of the Greek economy.
The competition authority's press release announcing the decision states that Heineken's subsidiary "…implemented a single and targeted policy that sought to exclude its competitors from the on-trade consumption market (e.g. HORECA chains and other retail outlets) and to limit their growth possibilities, over a period of fifteen years. /.../ Athenian Brewery S.A. employed various commercial practices aimed at exclusivity, including significant payments conditional upon exclusivity and/or the foreclosure of competitive brands, loyalty and target rebates. Furthermore, Athenian Brewery S.A. was found to have engaged in restrictive practices at the wholesale level, by providing wholesalers with significant economic motives that promote exclusivity and by exercising pressure on them not to trade or introduce competing products."
The announcement of the decision can be found at: http://www.epant.gr/main.php?Lang=en
Macedonian Thrace Brewery is a wholly Greek owned brewery. For further information please contact us through our website http://www.verginabeer.com/ or by phone on +30-25310-38715. This press release expresses the views and opinions of Macedonian Thrace Brewery.
SOURCE Macedonian Thrace Brewery S.A.
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