UPDATE 1-German flour mills fined for anti-competitive behaviour

Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:18am EST

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HAMBURG Feb 19 (Reuters) - German cartel agency BKA has imposed 41 million euros ($54.7 million) in fines on 22 flour mills and the German flour mills association for anti-competitive behaviour.

BKA said it levied the fines for agreements in the marketing of flour

The investigation started in 2008 with searches of flour mills, and previous fines were imposed in 2011, the agency said on Tuesday.

The investigation had been started following indications that mills were agreeing on prices and market sales volumes, the BKA said.

"Persons in authority in mills had since 2001 held regular discussion meetings in which flour prices, allocation of customers and sales volumes were agreed," BKA President Andreas Mundt said in a statement.

The agreements included deliveries to large industrial customers, bakeries and retailers, it said.

Mills have a right to appeal. Details of individual fines were not given.

The agency on Jan. 31 fined 11 chocolate and confectionery makers a total of 60 million euros for anti-competitive behaviour. ($1 = 0.7490 euros) (Reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by Alison Birrane and Jane Baird)