US-based fruit producer Del Monte has secured a reduction in a fine imposed by the European Union (EU) in 2008 for fixing banana prices.
The EU General Court reduced its initial fine of €14.7m (US$19.2m) to €8.82m (US$11.5m), citing mitigating circumstances and Del Monte’s cooperation with regulators.
However, the 2008 EU fine meted out to US-based agriculture corporation Dole Food for the same offence was upheld.
Dole strongly denies wrongdoing and has stated that it intends to appeal its €45.6m (US$59.5m) fine.
"We strongly believe that the European competition laws were not violated and we will appeal this decision to the EU Court of Justice,” said Dole president Michael Carter.
"The General Court's decision treats discussions about general market conditions the same as a price-fixing cartel."
The companies were found to have participated in rigging banana prices between 2000 and 2002.