On 11 July 2019, the National Commission on Markets and Competition (CNMC) in Spain fined ten of the largest Spanish and international dairy companies and associations, including Danone and Nestlé, €80 million for their involvement in this long-running cartel. Between 2000 and 2013, the cartelists exchanged information on purchase prices, purchase volumes and the level of surplus milk – both at a national and regional level. The CNMC took the unusual step for a competition authority of recognising in its decision that the cartelists manipulated milk prices by approximately 10%-12%. Dairy farmers will argue that this anticompetitive conduct caused them serious losses and contributed to milk prices received in Spain being some of the lowest in the European Union.
All farmers that have sold raw cow's milk to dairy industries and who believe they may have been affected by the Spanish Milk Cartel, have until 11 July 2020 to file a claim for the damage suffered.
Hausfeld and Eskariam both have a significant track record in running claims on behalf of significant numbers of claimants. The cooperation results in a strong platform for the Spanish dairy farmers. Eskariam offers extensive local knowledge and a bespoke IT platform, so that farmers, as well as the associations and cooperatives that support them, can process the necessary claim documents online quickly and safely. The firms have instructed leading economic consulting firm, Compass Lexecon. Hausfeld, brings top-tier expertise in the field of competition damages claims, a discipline still in its relative infancy in Spain.