ACM declares the manufacturers’ objections to the fines for distorting competition unfounded.
In a decision of 25 November 2021, ACM declared the objections of four cigarette manufacturers against a fine imposed by ACM unfounded. ACM fined cigarette manufacturers British American Tobacco International (Holdings) B.V. (‘BAT’), JT International Company Netherlands B.V. (‘JTI’), Philip Morris Benelux BV and Philip Morris Investments B.V. (‘PMI’) and Van Nelle Tabak Nederland B.V. (with trade names including Imperial Tobacco Nederland, ‘ITN’) in 2020 because they had spent years exchanging information about future prices of packs of cigarettes through wholesalers in breach of Article 101 TFEU.
The manufacturers’ grounds for objection related to the interpretation of the market conditions and the facts, the legal qualification of the conduct, the manner in which the proceedings were organised and the level of the fines. The ACM denied all the objections.