Venezuelan antitrust authorities have fined Diageo's operations in the country BOB3.748 billion (US$1.96m), after it found the drinks giant guilty of illegal competition practices.

Pro-Competencia fined Diageo Venezuela and the seven alcohol wholesalers a total of BOB5.384 billion for reportedly imposing a fixed alcohol price on retailers.

The Venezuelan authorities called on the alcohol sellers to free the market and to stop the illegal competition.

But in a statement released to just-drinks, a Diageo spokesperson said: "Diageo Venezuela obeys all applicable law. We are confident that we have not breached the antitrust law of Venezuela. As the leading drinks company in Venezuela, and as the primary exporter of Venezuelan rum, we will vigorously challenge this decision through the court system."