The European Commission (Commission) has fined Lantmännen ek för and its subsidiary Lantmännen Biorefineries AB with an administrative fine for participating in a cartel-related to the wholesale price formation of ethanol in in the European Economic Area (EEA).

The Commission has found that Lantmännen engaged in a continuous violation from 2012 to 2014 of Article 101(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Article 53(1) of the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA). In the end, the Commission has decided that Lantmännen's actions were deemed a breach of competition rules related to its involvement in a cartel affecting the ethanol market, including coordination of trading conduct and limiting the supply of physical ethanol. During its investigation, the Commission has found that Lantmännen, along with two other companies:

  • Consistently coordinated trading activities before, during, and after the Market on Close (MOC) Window,
  • Reached an agreement to restrict the supply of physical ethanol in the Rotterdam area that could influence the MOC Window, and
  • Shared commercially sensitive information to facilitate the implementation of this coordinated behavior.

As a result, the Commission has decided that Lantmännen's actions violated the competition rules and imposed a fine on the undertaking.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), on the other hand, published its Ethanol Market Concentration Report for 2023 and concluded, as in previous years, that given the level of concentration in the US ethanol production industry and the large number of players in the market, it is unlikely that there will be coordination on price or production levels and that there is sufficient competition in the relevant market nationwide.

(European Commission / FTC – 07.12.2023 / 01.12.2023)



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