The Bundeskartellamt has imposed fines totalling approx. 338 million euros on 21 sausage manufacturers as well as 33 individuals involved for concluding illegal price-fixing agreements.
Several statements and documents prove that there was a traditional "basic consensus" among the manufacturers to inform one another regularly about demands for price increases. Accordingly, over several decades well-known sausage manufacturers had regularly met within the so-called "Atlantic Group", named after their first meeting place, the Hotel Atlantic in Hamburg, to discuss market developments and prices. In addition to the "Atlantic Group" meetings there had been actual agreements between several sausage manufacturers, in particular since 2003, to jointly implement price increases for the sale of sausage products to the retail trade.
The fines range in this case from a few hundred thousand euros to high amounts in millions. Important factors in the calculation of a fine, which is based on the seriousness and duration of the infringement, are the so-called cartel-related turnover (i.e. the turnover achieved by the company with the products that were the subject of the cartel agreement) and the overall turnover of the company.
Tuesday July 15, 2014/ Bundeskartellamt/ Germany.