An attempt by three Luxembourg breweries to overturn fines imposed by the European Commission for violating European Union (EU) competition laws has been rejected by the Court of First Instance of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

They were part of a ring of five breweries which the Commission said in 2001 had agreed between themselves to preserve their hotel, restaurant and café markets in Luxembourg and hinder the entry of foreign brewers.

A fine of €400,000 had been levied on Brasserie Nationale while Wiltz and Battin (now Jules Simon) were each fined €24,000. The other breweries involved were Brasserie de Diekirch and Brasseries Réunies de Luxembourg Mousel et Clausen.

Diekirch was not fined because Interbrew, which acquired the company in 1999, had informed the Commission of the market-sharing deal. Interbrew said the court had made "a positive decision which will stimulate the healthy functioning of the Luxembourg beer market."