BRUSSELS, June 24 (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Wednesday it had found eight manufacturers and two distributors of retail food packaging trays guilty of participating in cartels and set fines of a total of 115.9 million euros ($129.90 million).
The Commission said it had discovered five separate cartels of polystyrene foam polypropylene rigid trays for products such as cheese, meat, fish or cake and operating in regions of Europe for between one and almost eight years.
“Millions of consumers buying food for themselves and their families have potentially been hit by these cartels. The companies concerned carved up the retail food packaging market and agreed on prices rather than competing on their merits,” Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.
The highest fines, topping 30 million euros were for Italy’s Sirap-Gema and Coopbox. Germany’s Silver Plastics was fined 21.2 million euros and Finland’s Huhtamaki 15.6 million euros.
Britain’s Linpac escaped a fine because it alerted the Commission to the existence of the cartels.
$1 = 0.8922 euros Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop