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Post By Tim
Post By timidtom
25th October 2011, 21:10
Dutch bike industry fined heavily for price fixing,
Court Sets Final Multi Million Euro Fines for Dutch Bike Makers in Competition Case
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands – Yesterday, the Dutch Court of Appeal for Trade & Industry has set the final fines for Dutch bike makers Gazelle, Accell Group (Batavus, Sparta, Koga) and Giant in the competition case that was started by the Dutch Competition Authority, NMa in November 2000. Compared to what was claimed in a ruling published in 2002, the final verdict rules lowered fines but are still multi-million ones.
The highest fine has to be paid by Gazelle. In 2002 the company, which was recently taken over by Pon Holdings, was fined for a big 12.9 million euro. The Court of Appeal for Trade & Industry has set the final fine for Gazelle at 10,109,000 euro.
Yesterday’s final ruling has almost halved the original fine of 12.8 million euro imposed on Accell Group by the Dutch competition authority NMa to € 6.9 million, in particular because the alleged misconduct in 2000 has had no impact on the market.
The lowest fine has to be paid by Giant Europe. In 2002 the NMa fined the in Lelystad, the Netherlands based bike facility for 3.9 million euro. Yesterday’s court ruling sets the final fine at 2,053,000 euro.
Accell Group CEO René Takens commented: “We remain convinced that we did not breach any rules more than ten years ago, but apparently the NMa has managed to present the facts in such a way that the judges have a different opinion. There were no pricing agreements made back then and both the NMa and the Court of Appeal recognize that the supposed violation has not affected the market, but nevertheless consider that general comments concerning passing on cost increases in the sidelines of a regular meeting should be seen as a breach of competition rules. Obviously, we had hoped for a better outcome, but we are pleased that the fine is halved and the procedure which already started in 2000 has come to an end.”
In a press release Accell Group claims that the ruling has no impact on its business operations while the impact on the financial results of Accell Group are limited. After a first appeal by Accell Group and the other Dutch bike makers at the Rotterdam court in 2007, Accell Group already made a provision of € 4.6 million in line with the IFRS accounting standards.
With yesterday’s ruling by the Dutch Court of Appeal for Trade & Industry, the companies involved do not have any further appeal possibilities left.
25th October 2011, 21:37
25th October 2011, 21:46
I read today that Accell group made €22 million selling Derby Cycle shares recently, after the Pon takeover, so they can take the hit. Bikes are obviously big, big business on the other side of the Channel.
I saw this the other day about how the Dutch fought to win the streets back for bicycles over the past few decades. Interesting tactics, especially people being up in arms over cyclists being killed by motor vehicles.
25th October 2011, 21:47
I wonder if the same rules apply to our power suppliers? Such a shame if they had to shed a £ or 2!
26th October 2011, 08:17
Great video. Interesting the Dutch where heading the way of the UK but had the will to change and not go down the same path....shame it didn't happen here.
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