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Court Cuts Fines for Accell, Giant, Gazelle

Published October 16, 2007

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (BRAIN)—An appeals court in Rotterdam substantially reduced, but did not eliminate, administrative fines the Dutch anti-trust authority had earlier imposed against Gazelle, Giant and Accell Group for allegedly colluding on prices for the 2001 season.

The court reduced the fine against Gazelle from 12.9 million euros ($17.8 million at current exchange rates) to 6.7 million ($9.2 million); against Accell from 11.5 million euros ($15.9 million) to 4.6 million ($6.3 million), and against Giant from 3.9 million ($5.4 million) to 1.4 million euros ($1.9 million).

“The ruling of the court has in any case established that a number of inaccurate accusations made by the NMa (the anti-trust authority) have again been rejected. The only thing we were apparently unable to convince the court of is that there was no question of agreement on the prices in the 2001 bicycle season,” said René Taken, chief executive officer of the Accell Group.

He said price increases that year stemmed from price increases in the prices of components, which the companies source from the same suppliers, and that bicycle companies release their new lines seasonally at approximately the same time.

“We still believe we did nothing wrong. There were no pricing agreements and we therefore still find the fine inappropriate," he said.

Accell’s administration and attorneys are reviewing the court ruling and considering an additional appeal, he said.

Check out the August 15 edition of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News for additional details. —John Crenshaw

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