‘Tobacco firms breached Belgian competition law’

    Photo: Schlierner

    Belgium has charged four cigarette manufacturers with breaching competition law by exchanging information of future prices to wholesalers, reports Reuters.

    The Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) identified the firms as subsidiaries of Philip Morris International, Imperial Brands, Japan Tobacco and British American Tobacco, which together account for 90 percent of cigarette consumption in Belgium.

    “The competition prosecutor alleges the existence of anti-competitive practices that lasted for several years and consisted in repeated exchanges of information on their future prices through wholesalers,” the BCA wrote in a statement.

    It said that, through the wholesalers, they received information on the future prices of competitors.

    A formal inquiry started in May 2017, followed by raids a month later as part of the investigation.