Five German brewers were fined €106.5 million by the Federal Cartel Office last Monday for fixing beer prices which made drinks more expensive for consumers.
It led to an almost industry-wide €1 increase in the price of a crate of 20 beers in 2008. The price of a 100 litres of beer rose by between €5 and €7.
But with the scam now broken up, drink prices will rise rather than fall, according to the head of the Association of German Drink Retailers Sepp Gail.
He told Spiegel magazine on Monday that the fines would hit brewers' profits, leading to price rises for consumers.
“The [profit] margins are very small,” he said.
Bitburger, Krombacher, Veltins and Warsteiner as well as private brewery Barre were all fined by the Federal Cartel Office. Investigations are continuing against six other brewers. Focus magazine reported they also face a fine of €100 million.
The Bonn-based office is yet to release the names of the other brewers, but industry sources have named the breweries under investigation in Germany as Carlsberg and Radeberger.