Fines to brewers.
The German cartel authority and several major German brewers have confirmed that >100 million euros in fines for pricing collusion have been issued so far as a result of investigations into the “biggest beer cartel in German history” ever caught, going on for “umpteen” years according to testimony from a Veltins manager. The Belgian beer giant InBev that bought Budweiser and Becks ratted the German brewers out and will thus be the only participant not fined. Some other brewers’ fines were also reduced from the maximum possible 10% of annual gross, depending on their cooperation.
By Scandinavian and U.S. standards, even illegally inflated German beer prices were relatively low because of Germany’s low sin taxes on alcohol. (Alcohol is not considered the spark in the societal powder keg in Germany. Beer, especially, is thought to have some redeeming qualities of bringing people together socially, and possibly some of the nutritional aspects of bread.) The cartel’s agreements would have raised the price of a 20-bottle case of beer by 1 euro in 2008, Spiegel.de explained.
Investigations are still ongoing against two more corporate brewers and four regional (i.e. smaller) brewers, who have not yet been named for that reason.
(BOOSS geld gay gen BROW ah WRY en.)