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    Severe fines for “Applesauce cartel"

    Severe fines for “Applesauce cartel"

    Seven companies have been fined by the French competition authority for organising in a cartel and dividing the applesauce market between them. Dutch company Coroos, which revealed the existence of the cartel, does not have to pay a fine.

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    90?% of the market

    The French competition authority imposed fines totalling 58.3?million euros on seven companies. The 'applesauce cartel' existed from 2010 to 2014: during that period, the companies involved — who together held more than 90?% of the French market — made secret price-fixing agreements and divided customers and volumes among themselves. Among other things, they supplied apple sauce for the private labels of various supermarket chains, and to catering companies in France.

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    Coroos, which was the first to report the existence of the cartel to the French authority, escapes from being fined, the Dutch Consumer and Market Authority (ACM) notes. The ACM was actively involved in the French investigation.

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    In another case, the European Commission recently fined several vegetable producing companies for forming a cartel during the period between 2000 and 2013. In that instance, Coroos was unable to escape and was fined 13.6?million euros.

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