Del Monte banana fine cut, but Dole's penalty is upheld

A worker checks on young banana saplings in a nursery of a new banana plantation in Honduras The European Commission imposed the fines in 2008

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Fruit producer Del Monte has won a cut in its 14.7m-euro (£12.6m) European Union fine for rigging banana prices.

The EU General Court ruled Del Monte's fine be cut to 8.82m euros due to the company's co-operation with regulators and mitigating circumstances.

However, a 45.6m euros fine on Dole Food was upheld. The company denies wrongdoing and has said it will appeal.

In 2008, the European Commission fined the companies for price collusion in eight EU countries.

In a statement, Dole's president C. Michael Carter said: "We strongly believe that the European competition laws were not violated and we will appeal this decision to the EU Court of Justice.

"The General Court's decision treats discussions about general market conditions the same as a price-fixing cartel."

The companies were found to have been involved in price fixing between 2000 and 2002.

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