Banana importers Dole and Del Monte have been fined 60 million euros ($82 million) for running an illegal price-fixing cartel, the European Commission said.
Europeans consume a lot of bananas
The importers, along with the Chiquita company, are accused of discussing prices and their pricing intentions in weekly phone calls between 2000 and 2002.
Europe's top antitrust watchdog on Wednesday, Oct. 15, ordered Dole to pay 45.6 million euros for its role while Del Monte/Weichert has been fined 14.7 million euros. Chiquita escaped a penalty because it tipped off authorities about the cartel.
"European consumers spend significant sums on bananas every year," Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement. "It is totally unacceptable for companies to have rigged prices in this manner and the companies concerned must learn the hard way that the commission will not tolerate such behavior," she added.
Nigerian gunmen have freed a German citizen whom they kidnapped almost a week ago, according to the construction company the man works for. Another German employee was killed in last week's raid.
A German long-haul trucker has been sentenced to ten-and-a-half years in prison for a series of shooting attacks on vehicles using the motorway. One driver was badly wounded by a ricocheting bullet.
A German advance mission has been dispatched to Iraq to scope out the potential for Germany to expand training of peshmerga forces. Germany has already sent weapons to aid the Kurds in the battle against "IS" militants.
A comedian might say it's his job to make fun of everything and everybody under the sun - the more wicked, the better. In Germany, a debate has broken out after a Muslim citizen filed suit over a comedian's jokes.