On 27 September 2019, the European Commission adopted a decision in which it found that three manufacturers of canned vegetables participated in a single continuous infringement comprising three separate agreements for over 13 years.
The cartel concerned the supply of certain types of canned vegetables to retailers and food service companies in the European Economic Area. The three companies were Bonduelle, Coroos and Groupe CECAB. They admitted their involvement in the cartel and agreed to settle the case. The Commission imposed fines totalling over €31 million.
The Commission found that the three companies sought to preserve or strengthen their position on the market and, to maintain or increase selling prices. To achieve this aim, they set prices, agreed on market shares and volume quotas, allocated markets and customers, coordinated their replies to tenders and exchanged commercially sensitive information.
A further company, Conserve Italia, refused to settle with the Commission. On 19 November 2021, the Commission adopted a decision fining Conserve Italia, and its subsidiary Conserves France, €20 million for participating in the cartel.
Actions for damages
Under EU and UK law, any business that purchased canned vegetables affected by the cartel are entitled to claim compensation for any losses suffered. Hausfeld is investigating potential claims relating to this cartel. If you believe that you or your business may have been affected and would like to learn more, please contact one of the related lawyers.