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Regulators say ‘Nein!’ to German sausage collusion

A butcher at the Gruene Woche International Agriculture Fair in BerlinA butcher at the Gruene Woche International Agriculture Fair in Berlin
A butcher at the Gruene Woche International Agriculture Fair in BerlinCarsten Koall—Getty Images

If you think the way sausage gets made is bad, wait until you see how it gets sold.

The Associated Press is reporting that German anti-trust officials are leveling fines of 338 million euros ($460 million) on 21 sausage makers for colluding to fix prices starting in 2003. Fines were also issued to 33 individuals involved in the scheme.

The regulators were tipped off to the collusion by an anonymous informant, after which 11 of the companies agreed to admit wrongdoing and cooperate. The companies being fined include Herta, a subsidiary of Nestle.

There is no word on whether mustard was also involved in the program, or if the condiment business remains a free market.