Greek brewery Macedonian Thrace Brewery (MTB) has welcomed an appeals court judgment against Heineken’s 98.8%-owned Greek operating company, saying the ruling supports its claim for damages of €100m against the brewer.

The Administrative Appeals Court in Athens has upheld a 2015 landmark antitrust finding by the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) against Heineken’s subsidiary Athenian Brewery (AB) for nearly two decades of illegal anti-competitive market abuse in Greece.

Following a 12-year-long HCC investigation, AB was found to have systematically abused its dominant market position in violation of Greek and EU competition law.

The Appeals Court upheld the substance of the HCC’s decision and after a technical adjustment to the original HCC fine, confirmed a record €26.7 million fine on Heineken’s operating company in Greece.

The HCC found overwhelming evidence that AB, which sells Alfa, Amstel and Heineken in Greece, implemented a targeted policy to exclude competitors from all channels – wholesalers, on-trade and off-trade retail outlets.

In February MTB launched a damages claim against Heineken and Athenian Brewery in the Court of Amsterdam, commercial division.