02.12.2020 - BayWa's official liability suit against the Federal Cartel Office dismissed

The Bonn Regional Court today completely dismissed the official liability suit brought by BayWa AG, Munich, against the Federal Cartel Office (Az. 1 O 201/20). BayWa had sued for payment of around 73 million euros in damages for alleged breaches of official duties in the context of a fine against wholesalers of pesticides. The decision is not yet final. An appeal can be lodged against the judgment.

You can find the full press release from the Bundeskartellamt here .

The verdict (including the reasons for the verdict) can be found here .

21.10.2020 - Bundeskartellamt publishes case report on the plant protection cartel

On October 21, the Federal Cartel Office published its case report on the fine proceedings against wholesalers of plant protection products. It contains a short, somewhat more detailed summary of the Office’s main findings compared to the press release of January 13, 2020.

The case report finally lists the companies involved in the cartel. It also contains additional explanations on how the cartel works. According to this, the pesticide wholesalers agreed with each other in spring and autumn on (discountable gross) list prices, and in some cases also on discounts and net-net prices for retailers and end customers. Over a period of 16 years they used a uniform calculation to calculate list prices, which led to largely uniform price lists at wholesalers.

The case report of the Federal Cartel Office can be found here .

10.2.2020 - Law firm Hausfeld enables farmers to make an initial assessment of the possible damage

The law firm Hausfeld, one of the leading law firms in the field of antitrust damages law, announced on February 10, 2020 that, in cooperation with leading competition economists, they would enable farmers and agricultural companies who have acquired pesticides during the cartel period to make a quick and efficient initial assessment of the possible damage.

The link to the press release of the Hausfeld law firm can be found here .

16.1. 2020 - Badische Bauern Zeitung reports on agreements on net prices and the status of the proceedings in the plant protection cartel

On January 16, 2020, the Badische Bauern Zeitung reported on the crop protection product cartel uncovered by the Federal Cartel Office. The wholesalers have agreed on list prices as well as so-called net-net prices and discount margins. This resulted in largely uniform price lists for retailers and end customers. In total, the Federal Cartel Office imposed a fine of 154.6 million euros on the plant protection cartel.

You can find the article in the Badische Bauern Zeitung here .

13.1.2020 - Süddeutsche Zeitung reports on potential claims for damages from farmers

The Süddeutsche Zeitung also reports on the uncovered cartel of the wholesalers of plant protection products and also on potential claims for damages due to the possibly excessive prices for plant protection products as a result. In addition to the fines, the cartelists should be prepared for other costs.

You can find the article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung here.

13.1.2020 - SWR reports on fines against pesticide wholesalers, including ZG Raiffeisen from Karlsruhe

The SWR also reports on the price agreements on pesticides. This led to largely uniform price lists for the farmers who bought pesticides. This can also result in possible claims for damages for the farmers. The US law firm Hausfeld will support farmers in examining possible claims for damages.

You can find the SWR report here 

13.1.2020 - Focus Online reports on the plant protection cartel and the possible assertion of damages by the law firm Hausfeld

Due to illegal price fixing, the Federal Cartel Office imposed fines of almost 155 million euros on seven wholesalers of pesticides. The pesticides affected are an important product in the agricultural trade for farmers. After the penalties, the companies have to be prepared for claims for damages and related additional costs: The US law firm Hausfeld wants to claim damages on behalf of the aggrieved farmers.

The Focus Online article can be found here.

13.1.2020 - Bundeskartellamt publishes press release on the plant protection cartel

On January 13, 2020, the Federal Cartel Office published the agreement of a settlement with participants in the plant protection cartel in a press release. The Federal Cartel Office imposed a fine totaling EUR 154.6 million on seven plant protection product wholesalers and their management. The agency announced that a case report on the cartel will be published shortly. We will keep you up to date.

You can find the Bundeskartellamt’s press release here.