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Big four beer groups face legal action from angry cafe owners

Monday 04 June 2012

The Dutch hospitality industry body Horeca Nederland is taking the four big beer firms – Heineken, Grolsch, Bavaria and AB Inbev - to court for cartel forming.

The organisation wants the court to rule the brewing giants have operated as a cartel, clearing the way for bar and cafe owners to demand compensation through the Dutch legal system.

The European Commission said in 2007 the Dutch brewers were part of a cartel between 1996 and 1999. Horeca Nederland says the relationship with brewers is still 'unequal and unhealthy' and talks with the beer firms have failed to generate results.

‘The brewers do nothing and we have had enough,’ the organisation’s director Lodewijk van der Grinten said in a statement.


The organisation says the brewing groups still have a stranglehold on cafes and bars, which ultimately leads to customers footing the bill.

An investigation by the organisation last year showed that at least 75% of cafes are ‘attached’ to their beer provider through loans, guarantees, equipment or rental of the premises.

Cafe and bar owners also want more transparency in the market. ‘That means brewers should no longer operate as financier or landlord,’ Van der Grinten said. ‘And certainly that there are limits to how long you are tied to a contract with a particular brewer, if you rent a property from them.’

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Yet again, another Cartel, fairness and lack of transparency, what a surprise? and guess what, once again, its happening in the Netherlands. Change is required to the typical Dutch business model. Its just not acceptable anymore!

By Highlander | 4 June 2012 6:19 PM

ooops..here we go again, the good old Dutch cartel. Is there anything in the Netherlands that is not in a cartel?
Starting with the hazing/bullying practices at school and honed to perfection at the universities, the system pours out a breed that knows only tribal/in-crowd practices, and back-room deals.
Go to court, pay a fine, and party all the way to the next lucrative cartel deal.

By jaycee | 4 June 2012 8:35 PM

Are these alcohol cartels the real reason for the stream of anti-coffeeshop laws coming from Dutch government? The real aim of the original coffeeshop laws was to protect experimenting youngsters from also experimenting with drugs like heroin - yes? So are Dutch youth now to be collatoral damage from these corrupting cartels? Where is the public debate on drugs? Never stop asking questions! Max Harmreduction

By Max Harmreduction | 4 June 2012 10:20 PM

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