The hearing of Fresh Del Monte’s and Weichert’s appeal against the European Commission finding that they had participated in an anti-competitive information exchange on the setting of quotation prices for bananas took place today before the General Court. In October 2008 the Commission found that Chiquita, Dole, and Weichert were parties to an exchange of information which had the object of restricting competition contrary to Article 101 TFEU It also found that there was a single and continuous infringement. It fined Dole and Weichert/Del Monte €60m. Chiquita was not fined because it had applied successfully for leniency. The appeal raises important questions about the lawfulness of discussions on price setting factors, whether such discussions can amount to a restriction of competition by object as well as the scope of the concept of a single and continuous infringement.
Christopher Vajda QC, instructed by SJ Berwin, represented Weichert at the oral hearing.