Dutch competition watchdog fines 4 tobacco companies 82 mln euros

AMSTERDAM, Sept 29 (Reuters) - The Dutch competition watchdog on Tuesday said it had fined four major tobacco makers including Philip Morris and British American Tobacco a total of 82 million euros ($95.7 million) for “distorting competition.”

In a statement, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) said the four had illegally exchanged information about future pricing plans in the 2008-2011 period.

British American Tobacco was fined 31.2 million euros, Philip Morris was fined 27.5 million euros, JTI was fined 13 million euros and Van Nelle, part of ITN, was fined 10.4 million euros, the ACM said. It said that all four cigarette makers have filed objections against the decision.

$1 = 0.8569 euros Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Jacqueline Wong