A new report has shed light on a
massive beer collusion schemethat has been brewing in Germany for two decades.
The German magazine Focus got ahold of documents related to an investigation of the scandal.
According to a Federal Cartel Office memo, major German beer conglomerates have been price fixing for 20 years. From Spiegel Online:
During a Jan. 31, 2013 interrogation, head of the Veltins brewery, Volker Kuhl, told investigators that premium beer brands had agreed to raise prices via telephone or on the sidelines of industry meetings. They subsequently passed this information on to smaller producers. “Then it often came to a branch-wide beer price increase,” he said.
The Bitburger Brewery Group, which produces the beer that is an official sponsor of the Bundesliga, Germany’s national soccer league, apparently revealed similar revelations in the investigation, as did leaders of the brewery association in the country’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia.
Focus also reported that the companies will face fines in the hundreds of millions of euros.