The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has refused to reduce or scrap a EUR270,000 (US$316,485) fine ordered by the European Commission against Belgian brewer Brouwerij Haacht, of Boortmeerbeek, for participating in a beer cartel with Alken-Maes, Interbrew and Martens.

Brouwerij Haacht claimed that the Commission had overestimated its importance within the Belgian beer market, and hence the damage on competition it could wreak as a cartel member.

It also argued that the Commission broke its own cartel-control procedures in its assessment of Haacht's case and treated the brewery unfairly.

The Court however, dismissed these arguments and the appeal, telling the brewery to pay the case's costs.