Banana importers Dole and Del Monte have been fined 60 million euros ($82 million) for running an illegal price-fixing cartel, the European Commission said.
Europeans consume a lot of bananas
The importers, along with the Chiquita company, are accused of discussing prices and their pricing intentions in weekly phone calls between 2000 and 2002.
Europe's top antitrust watchdog on Wednesday, Oct. 15, ordered Dole to pay 45.6 million euros for its role while Del Monte/Weichert has been fined 14.7 million euros. Chiquita escaped a penalty because it tipped off authorities about the cartel.
"European consumers spend significant sums on bananas every year," Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement. "It is totally unacceptable for companies to have rigged prices in this manner and the companies concerned must learn the hard way that the commission will not tolerate such behavior," she added.
A number of people have been injured in an explosion outside of the Ukrainian parliament in Kyiv. This came as lawmakers met to pass constitutional amendment meant to end the fighting in the east of the country.
Budapest asked for Germany's clarification on Schengen travel rules, as most migrants cross into Hungary and then head for northern Europe. Berlin later reaffirmed that people should apply for asylum in Hungary first.
A law aimed at discouraging refugees from settling in Denmark comes into effect Tuesday, while most politicians agree more needs to be done to integrate immigrants. Malcolm Brabant reports from Copenhagen.
If your idea of adventure is the Canadian wilderness or the Mongolian steppes, then you really should check out the Palatinate Forest. With about 1,600 square kilometers it is Germany's largest contiguous forest.