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BELGIUM

Cigarette companies charged

04 Oct 2021. Four cigarette companies have been charged with exchanging information on competitorsí future prices with wholesalers and breaching competition law, reports Reuters.

The companies, which are subsidiaries of Philip Morris, Imperial Brands, Japan Tobacco and British American Tobacco account for 90 per cent of Belgiumís cigarette consumption, according to Reuters. The Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) has charged the companies in question with breaking the competition law as investigations show they had received information on competitorsí future prices from wholesalers. The formal inquiry into the matter started in May 2017 and was followed by raids a month later, reports Reuters.

"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 said in an emailed statement.