Gleiss Lutz helps Südzucker AG successfully defend claims for damages in connection with “sugar cartel”

Gleiss Lutz has prevailed in three proceedings before the 33rd Civil Division of Cologne Regional Court, successfully defending client Südzucker AG against claims for damages in connection with the “sugar cartel”.

In addition to suing Südzucker AG the claimants also filed for damages against sugar producers Nordzucker and Pfeifer & Langen for millions of euros. They contend that they had been paying too much for industrial sugar for years due to the infringements by the three producers sanctioned by fine by the Federal Cartel Office in 2014. The court of first instance dismissed the actions, as it cannot be assumed with predominant likelihood that the anticompetitive agreements on industrial sugar led to inflated prices.

The first lawsuit was brought by Aachener Printen- und Schokoladenfabrik Henry Lambertz GmbH & Co. KG; the second by heristo AG, among others; and the third by claims vehicle Zuckerkartell-Geschädigte Klage GmbH & Co. KG, as well as Zentis GmbH & Co. KG and dairies J. Bauer GmbH & Co. KG., Ehrmann AG and Gropper GmbH & Co. KG. Decisions in the proceedings are not yet final and non-appealable.

The following Gleiss Lutz team advised Südzucker AG on the proceedings: Dr. Wolfgang Bosch (Partner), Dr. Alexander Fritzsche (partner), Dr. Birgit Colbus (counsel, all lead), Dr. Saskia Kirchgeßner and Dr. Sarah Zinndorf (all Competition/Antitrust, Frankfurt).