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Banana Cartel Case in Europe

In: Business and Management

Submitted By useng2salma
Words 796
Pages 4
1) Antitrust: Commission fines banana suppliers € 60.3 million for running price cartel, EC IP/08/1509, October 2008, http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-08-1509_en.htm
2) COMMISSION DECISION of 15 X 2008 relating to a proceeding under Article 81 of the EC Treaty Case COMP/39188 – Bananas, COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES, Brussels, 15 X 2008, http://ec.europa.eu/competition/antitrust/cases/dec_docs/39188/39188_2291_2.pdf
In 2008, the European Commission, found that the banana importers Dole, Chiquita, Weichert and Del Monte involved in a cartel between 2000 and 2002. The allegation was on the basis of secret bilateral pre-pricing communications. The cartel affected the North European region specifically Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Sweden with banana consumption estimated to 1.6 million tones and a shared retail value of sales amounted to €2.5 billion in 2002.
How was the collusion achieved?
The banana business is organised in weekly cycles. During the relevant period the importers of leading brands of bananas into the eight European countries served by North European ports set and then announced every Thursday morning their reference price (their “quotation price”) for the following week. On numerous occasions over the three year period there were bilateral phone calls among the companies, usually the day before they set their price. During these calls the companies discussed or disclosed their pricing intentions: how they saw the price evolving or whether they intended to maintain, increase or decrease the quotation price. These meetings did not take place every week but it was shown that there was consistent communication among the parties.
It was obvious that there were signs of explicit collusion happening among the three companies. As noted from the Competition Authorities, "Dole's quotation price…...

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