Nestlé has been delivered a fine of Tl346.9m ($11.2m) by competition officials in Turkey over its violation of the law on the protection of competition.

In January, Rekabet Kurumu, the country’s competition watchdog, found the Aero chocolate maker to have breached Turkey’s law on the Protection of Competition.

Rekabet Kurumu concluded that Nestlé had broken Article 4 of the legislation, which prohibits any decision that could “likely [affect] the prevention, distortion or restriction of competition directly or indirectly in a particular market for goods or services”.

According to the regulator, the Fitness cereal producer violated the law by “determining the resale prices of its distributors and imposing regional and customer restrictions on its distributors”.

After a unanimous decision from the watchdog, Nestlé has now been handed a fine of Tl346.9m – higher than the originally predicted Tl260m.

The competition authority said the company can appeal the decision within 60 days at the Ankara Administrative Courts.

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In a statement to Just Food, a Nestlé spokesperson said: “We are waiting for the full reasoned decision and cannot comment further at this time.”

According to Global Competition Review, the Swiss giant is set to challenge the sanction.

Nestlé had been under investigation, alongside dairy giant Danone and four other Turkish food companies, for the alleged violation of competition laws on sharing pricing information.

The other companies examined were Turkish confectionery and savoury snacks producer Eti Gida, and consumer-goods manufacturer Horizon Fast Consumption.

Danone was found not to have violated any national competition regulations, Rekabet Kurumu said in its online notice.  

Eti and Horizon Fast Consumption, on the other hand, were both found to have made similar breaches to Nestlé and were given fines of Tl36m and Tl55m, respectively.