Germany’s Cartel Office has abandoned antitrust proceedings against Bell Group over accusations of price-fixing in the country’s sausage sector dating from 2014. 

Threeyears ago, Germany’s competition watchdog, the Bundeskartellamt, claimed it had statements and documents that proved a “basic consensus” among 21 manufacturers to inform each another regularly about demands for price increases. The office issued fines totalling EUR338m (US$378.5m), including a fine for Bell of EUR100m. 

The Swiss food group decided to appeal against the ruling. Now it has been overturned, Bell said the EUR100m fine has been cancelled. 

“This decision confirms the Bell Food Group’s interpretation of the law that Bell Germany was innocent of any antitrust violations. The Bell Food Group from the outset did not consider this fine to be justified, either in fact or under the law, and filed a timely appeal against the decision of the Federal Cartel Office,” the company said on Friday (23 June).

Interview from July 2014: Bell Group CFO hits out at sausage cartel ruling