Harju County Court today found alcohol producer Liviko and a number of large retail store chains guilty of a cartel agreement on alcohol prices, slapping the companies and their sales heads with hundreds of thousands of euros in fines.
According to the verdict, AS Liviko, AS Selver, AS Rimi Eesti Foods, OÜ Maxima Eesti, Prisma Peremarket and 11 people working for the sales departments of the companies, agreed to set the minimum price for a 0.5-liter 40-percent alcohol bottle at 63.50 kroons (4.06 euros).
The investigation began in 2012. All guilty parties are expected to appeal the verdict.
AS Liviko will have to pay a 127,600-euro fine, rising 10-fold if the same crime is repeated in the next two years. Rimi was slapped with a 358,400-euro fine, Prisma 115,600 euros, Maxima 190,700 euros and Selver 295,600 euros. All fines can increase by 10-fold if the crime is repeated.
Sales staff working for the companies received fines ranging from 265.50 to 2,940 euros.
AS Helter-R and a Liviko and a Maxima staff member were acquitted.
Editor: J.M. Laats