On June 20, the European Commission has adopted an amending decision concerning the Spanish raw tobacco cartel.
In 2004, the Commission fined five companies active in the Spanish raw tobacco market a total of €20 million for fixing the prices paid to, and the quantities bought from, tobacco growers in Spain. World Wide Tobacco España (“WWTE”) was fined €1.822.500. Its parent companies – Standard Commercial Corporation, Standard Commercial Tobacco Co. Inc. and Trans-continental Leaf Tobacco Corporation Ltd. – were held jointly and severally liable for this fine.
On March 2011, the General Court partially annulled the 2004 decision and fixed WWTE’s fine at €1.579.500, which amounts to a reduction of €243.000. However, WWTE’s parent companies, in their separate appeals before the General Court and the Court of Justice, did not raise the same pleas and thus failed to obtain the same reduction.
Therefore, the present Commission’s decision reimburses the reduction of €243.000 to Alliance One International Inc., the legal successor of WWTE’s parent companies.