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A few days ago the European Commission decided to close its investigation into some of the EU's major sugar producers, including the German suppliers Südzucker and Nordzucker. The Commission had carried out dawn raids on the basis of a suspicion that the sugar companies were involved in a price fixing cartel.
On the same day, Germany's Competition Authority announced that it was imposing fines of €280 million on three major German sugar producers, including Südzucker and Nordzucker. The infringement involved a 'territorial cartel' pursuant to which producers agreed to sell only in their respective home areas and not to sell into their competitors' sales areas. National competition authorities (NCAs) in Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Latvia and Romania have also investigated potential anticompetitive behaviour in the sugar market in recent years.
This highlights the complex relationship between EU anti-trust rules, Member States' national anti-trust rules, the EU Commission as an anti-trust enforcer, and NCAs as anti-trust enforcers:
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