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EU fines Dutch brewers for operating beer cartel

European Union regulators Wednesday fined Dutch brewers Heineken, Grolsch and Bavaria a total of €273,78 million ($371 million) for fixing beer prices in the Netherlands.

The European Commission fined Heineken €219 million ($296.6 million). Grolsch will be required to pay a €31.65 million ($42.86 million) fine and Bavaria was fined €22.85 million ($30.95 million). Belgian brewer InBev, who also participated in the cartel but acted as a whistleblower in the case, was spared a fine. The commission, the EU's top antitrust body, said that in the late 1990s the four companies had held unofficial meetings in which they fixed prices and coordinated price hikes in The Netherlands. The information provided by InBev also led to cartel fines against French and Luxembourg brewers and an investigation in Italy that closed without charges being brought. (