Tomra, a Norwegian supplier of vending machines for bottle recycling, has been fined 24 million Euro for unlawfully preventing competition. The fine handed out by the European Commission (the Commission") is equivalent to 7% of the firm's 2005 turnover and is the largest ever issued in terms of share of revenues.
The Commission has found that the company used commercial arrangements with retailers to exclude competitors from its market between 1998 and 2002. This behaviour constituted an abuse of a dominant position in five separate markets: Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway.
The abuse by Tomra came to light following a 2001 investigation into the company's behaviour. The company supplies special vending machines to over 40 countries and was using rebates, discounts and loyalty agreements with the intention of preventing competitors from entering the market.
Tomra has two months from the date of the ruling to appeal the decision to the European Court of Justice.