Prosecutors have asked Harju County Court to fine Liviko 375,000 euros if the alcohol producer is convicted of fixing alcohol prices with a number of large retail stores and executives also in the firing line.
Janek Kalvi, CEO of Liviko, said his company's success had been achieved in fair competition and had not signed any cartel agreements. “The extent of the financial punishment proposed by the prosecutor is absurd and inappropriate.”
According to the charge, Lviko and retailers agreed to increase the price of a 0.5-liter bottle of 80 proof alcohol to at least 63.5 kroons (4.06 euros).
The case involves retail giants such as Selver AS, which could see a 325,000-euro fine, with one executive receiving an additional fine of 36,000 euros for her role, if found guilty.
Rimi Eesti Foods AS could be fined 335,000 euros with additional 18,000 euros for executives.
Maxima Eesti OÜ could be fined 300,000 euros and a further 15,000 for directors.
Prisma Peremarker's figure is 250,000 euros and 11,000 euros for top staff.
Prosecutors said one company, AS Helter, was passive.
Liviko's own bosses could be fined 140,000 euros.
The figures for the corporate fines could jump far higher, if found guilty, as the prosecution said an additional clause should be added which would see fines increase by around five-fold if the perpetrators commit similar crimes again in the next three years. In such a case, the fines would total up to 6.6 million euros.
Editor: J.M. Laats