Yoghurt companies fined over price fixing
French authorities have fined the country's top yoghurt makers €193m (£136m) for engaging in a price-fixing cartel for six years.
The BBC reports that 11 firms - representing 90% of France's yoghurt makers - were involved in setting the price of supermarket own-brand yoghurt and dairy products.
According to the authorities, yoghurt executives used dedicated secret mobile phones to come together for clandestine meetings at hotels, each time varying the meeting places for the sake of discretion.
Lactalis Nestlé, a company jointly owned by Nestlé and Lactolais which produce well known consumer brands in the UK such as Ski and Munch Bunch, received the largest penalty of €56.1m.
The company said in a statement that it obeyed all laws and that the fines "overestimate in an obvious way the gravity of what happened, and their impact on the economy".
The other companies are Senagral, Novandie, Les Maitres Laitiers du Cotentin, Alsace Lait, Laita, Yeo Frais and Laiterie H Triballat.
Senagral, which incurred a penalty of €101.3m, had the fine reduced to €46m as it also participated in the whistleblower scheme.
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