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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Small Greek Brewer Against Heineken - David Vs. Goliath!

I first heard about Demetri Politopoulos back in January 2011 when the NYT published an article about his (ad)venture as a Greek-American entrepreneur in Greece. At that time I felt very sorry for Mr. Politopoulos because it seemed that his wonderful intentions to make a contribution to his home country had run against the realities of the Greek market place. He had already lost several million dollars of his own money and it seemed only a question of time until he would go out of business.

So much more surprised and happy was I when I read a few months ago that not only had his company, a brewery, made it but it was also very successful by branching out into non-alcoholic beverages. 'Tuvunu' was one of those new brands which made it even into the FT.

Luck now finally seems to have settled on the side of Demetri Politopoulos. Following the ruling of a Greek court that Heineken had abused its dominant market position in Greece, Macedonian Thrace Brewery (Politopoulos' company) has now sued Heineken for 100 MEUR damages which they allegedly suffered from Heineken's dominant market position.

I don't have any details on the law suit and whether Politopoulos has good chances of getting some compensation but this certainly has all the ingredients of a David vs. Goliath tale. One can only wish that David will win (again).

41 comments:

  1. In my opinion anyone who wants to compete in a business with no barriers to entry, is asking for trouble. I am not sure this is anything significant for the Greek economy; more like a marketing tale about enthusiasts:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRInvfwCpjA

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  2. This link will give you some more information; not thát difficult to find: http://draftmag.com/greek-brewery-sues-heineken-nv-and-athenian-brewery-for-more-than-e100-million/

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  3. Ans an other link then: http://www.foodingredientsfirst.com/news/Greek-Brewers-File-%E2%82%AC100m-Lawsuit-Against-Heineken.html?frompage=index&tracking=Headlines&NewTracking=News#.WLApx3FJA6U.twitter

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  4. And another link:http://www.foodingredientsfirst.com/news/Greek-Brewers-File-%E2%82%AC100m-Lawsuit-Against-Heineken.html?frompage=index&tracking=Headlines&NewTracking=News#.WLApx3FJA6U.twitter

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  5. If it were not so tragic, it would be laughable!

    David Vs. Goliath until ...merging by acquisition or absorption (big fish eat small)

    Corporate Law (and ...justice and ...fate)!

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  6. Beer is one of the matters that is heavily local. ...

    More from prejudice quite possibly, strictly I heavily prefer a couple of less well known brands in the Netherlands and Belgium, thus yes, I appreciate the challenge to Heineken.

    Thanks Klaus

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  7. Just because you sue someone for a 100 Million does not mean you are going to get it.

    However this raises a bigger issue which is how could you possibly ask Greek companies to become more competitive when the ones blocking them from doing so are large foreign companies acting as monopolies and bullies?

    Unless of course we like being hypocrites (hello EU does this sound familiar?)

    https://consumerist.com/2017/02/24/105m-lawsuit-accuses-heineken-of-bullying-its-way-into-bars-stores/

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  8. There we go! Numbers are very persistent things and they show that Greek exports (ex petroleum products) for 2016 had another record year:

    http://www.naftemporiki.gr/finance/story/1210379/pse-pou-basistike-i-nea-xronia-rekor-gia-tis-eksagoges

    And now our friend Klaus will eat a bit of Austrian crow and explain to us how in the world such improbable thing has happened against the wishes of ND and the Kathimerini/Skai TV crowd.

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    Replies
    1. Ok, so now I will eat crow!

      I had said: "In actual fact, exports of 'other goods' (excluding oil and shipping) were 17 BEUR at the peak before the crisis and in 2016 they were 18 BEUR" (18,175 to be exact).

      The Exporters' Association reports exports for 2016 of 18.590. However, they include shipping (156) whereas my 18,175 does not include shipping. All told, we are talking about a marginal difference between "your" and "my" numbers.

      The point still is: to go from 17 BEUR to a little over 18 BEUR in 8 years during which years the focus was meant to be exports, aided by decline in domestic costs and Euro devaluation against third currencies, well, that doesn't knock me off my feet, to say the least. Anyone who thinks that Greece is anywhere near its export potential is a dreamer.

      Delete
    2. No, the point is somewhat different.

      It's the eurononsense that had convinced you that Greek exports would take off if we did as perscribed by Berlin. And we have been telling you for years that you and Berlin have no idea what you are talking about because you are basically ignorant of the ground facts regarding the Greek economy.

      When an economy is primarily based on tourism amd merchant marine fleets and to some lesser degree on services, looking at exports to save the day makes absolutely zero sense. Greek exports are doing what they are supposed to which is to experience a steady growth especially in the ag category.

      So, what is this myth that Greece would find its way out of the crisis through exports? Who invented this myth and why?

      Because a detached observer might come to the conclusion that the exports myth is basically invented to cover the failure of the Greek perscribed recipe by Berlin. Berlin is saying that "we didn't know that the Greek program would fail because usually internal devaluation leads to greater exports". Except in the Greek case such position potrays ignorance of how the Greek economy works. Which if you take it a step further means that Berlin has no right to tell us what Berlin thinks would improve things because 99.9% of the time Berlin speaks out of total ignorance.

      Do you now understand what the point is? The point is that the blind can not lead those with one eye.

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    3. "When an economy is primarily based on tourism amd merchant marine fleets and to some lesser degree on services, looking at exports to save the day makes absolutely zero sense." - I agree.

      I mean, I agree when the premise is that the current structure of the Greek economy is God-given and cannot be changed. When the premise is that no initiative, no ingenuity, no creativity can ever change the static structure of the economy.

      I take it you believe that Greeks lack the necessary initiative, ingenuity and creativity to change the structure of their economy. It is your prerogative to have such a defeatist view. I think Greeks have a lot of initiative, ingenuity and creativity to change the structure of their economy.

      Where have I heard the expression 'structural changes' before???

      I suppose every study that has been made about the Greek economy in recent years/decades (be it from the EU, the OECD, the IMF or Greek think tanks; in fact, the Greek government itself made such a study about 10 years ago which study was subsequently copied to a large extent by McKinsey), every such study addressed the need for structural changes, for investments in tradable goods where exports could be achieved. And the need for foreign investment to accomplish that.

      40-50 years ago, Bavaria was Germany's poorest (or least wealthy) state, the largest recipient of internal transfers. The economy was agricultural and there were a couple of very small car manufactures like BMW and Audi. Today, Bavaria is Germany's wealthiest state, the largest contributor to the internal transfer system, leading in technology investments, aerospace, high tech, etc. etc. And BMW and Audi have become giants. And they still do agriculture. What happened?

      Structural changes designed and implemented by a series of very competent Bavarian governments.

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    4. Klaus:

      The point is that the Greeks do not lack either ingenuity or drive. But such would only be applied at our own terms and not to justify the occupiers of Greece. For now and based on the way things stand our duty is to apply a constant and relentless campaign of shaming those who gave us false advice versus cooperating with them in proving them right.

      This is not the first attempt to import Bavarian influence in Greece and we all know that such previous attempts have failed and therefore this present attempt to govern Greece through ideas and concepts made in Berlin will have to fail as well. It's our patriotic duty to see that it fails and the perpetrators get shamed to such a degree so that they don't even think of attempting their nonsense again.

      As you know, Germany as an export country is extremely vulnerable; it has no army to defend itself and is in the middle of a very severe eurozone crisis.

      Even if I were not already negatively disposed towards Germany and the Bavarian spirit as you described it, it is very unlikely that I would ever recommend to Greece and my fellow Greeks to follow the German model because there is nothing in it for us.

      Conversly I would advise Greece - if it so desires to follow a model instead of coming up with an original - and wishes so badly to imitate a country than such country to be Israel in our own neighborhood or the USA on a global scale.

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    5. I always have to chuckle when I read your high sense of patriotism. Good for you! And, yes, Israel might be a good role model. They turned a barren and good-for-nothing territory, perhaps even a desert, into a thriving country. Yes, with a lot of USD but with much more own effort, initiative, ingenuity and creativity.

      Delete
  9. Instead of small deals let's concentrate on the big picture:

    http://www.ypodomes.com/index.php/special-editions/news-in-english/item/39225-what-is-next-in-the-conceded-projects-list

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  10. To emulate Israel or USA you would need a goal, ich esse meine suppe nicht, is not a goal, that is only the petulant impotent child sniveling noooooo. are you still a child? Do you consider your compatriots to be? Do they consider themselves to be?

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    Replies
    1. Come again?

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    2. Ich esse meine deutsche Zwangsmahlzeit nicht is not the statement of a petulant child, rather the statement of a Greek patriot.

      Delete
  11. The Greek patriot does not want to copy them or have them as allies, he want them to be protectors and providers. Greek government has in less than 2 years begged more than 10 nations for that, many of them more than twice. They are now asking the new president of USA for the same. You cannot call them ideological narrow minded.
    As ever Karagiozis, we now wait for the customary comical disaster finale.

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    Replies
    1. Heard it. The same Nea Tromokratia propaganda all over again.

      Delete
  12. Take it from Chanel what Greece is: something very special.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrMsCekWt_c

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  13. Further evidence that the Greece situation is not salvageable. I have never seen such a concentration of very low talent speaking incomprehensible nonsense (w/ a few exceptions):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxL4xz2z4qA

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  14. Theorakis who leads Potami says that the lenders prefer Tsipras because he implements their demands.

    http://www.naftemporiki.gr/story/1211048/st-theodorakis-oi-daneistes-protimoun-ton-tsipra-giati-ulopoiei-tis-apaitiseis-tous

    Lenders prefer Mr. Tsipras because he implements their demands, supported the President of the River, Stavros Theodorakis, in an interview to television channel "A TV".

    "Mr. Tsipras apparently believed mistakenly that could press into the pre-election environment, which is at this time in France, the Netherlands and Germany," said in parallel.

    "But he was wrong because these countries having paid part of our memoranda do not seem willing to put in their election agenda credits for the Greeks" he hastened to add.

    Appreciate also that this time, Europe does not want change of government in Greece, basing his opinion on two reasons: "One is not to upset the electoral climate in these countries and the second, and perhaps most important, is that with Mr. Tsipras the lenders requirements are implemented, "he said.

    Regarding the progress of his party, he said that "we will insist to defend the logic and progressive changes in the country and will try to convince the powerful minorities in the country of production and thought to join in this fight."

    naftemporiki.gr

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  15. Klaus:

    At around 4hr 34 minute of this presentation you will find a powerpoint presentation by Stournaras of BOG which might satisfy many of the issues you have raised in recent blog entries. Hope you find it of value and perhaps upgrade your positions:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBzqrF-4WlE

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  16. Germany's number is up. Time to learn its place.


    High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our T&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights.
    https://www.ft.com/content/e2d04cda-028f-11e7-ace0-1ce02ef0def9?emailId=58bdd331034dda0004b87c5d&segmentId=60a126e8-df3c-b524-c979-f90bde8a67cd

    “This is the problem with Germany. It is able to basically use the argument that they are in the eurozone and they are therefore unable to have any kind of discussion with the United States about reducing our almost $70bn trade deficit,” Mr Navarro said, dubbing the deficit with Germany “a serious issue”. 

    He added: “That may or may not be true. I think it would be useful to have candid discussions with Germany about ways that we can get that deficit reduced outside of the boundaries and restrictions that they claim that they are under.” 

    Mr Navarro also argued in his speech that German companies’ ability to claim a value added tax rebate on exports under World Trade Organisation rules was an example of an unfair “playing field”. US companies cannot do the same because the country’s business tax system is based on income, not sales.

    Mr Navarro played down fears that the new Trump administration was looking to engage in trade wars, saying that the president wanted to pursue trade that was “free, fair and reciprocal”. “The broader goal of a free trade policy based on fairness and reciprocity is not to raise either tariffs or non-tariff barriers,” he said. “Rather it is simply to encourage our trading partners to lower theirs.” 

    But he also made clear the new administration wanted to change how international business was conducted as a matter of national security, complaining that only one company in the US was now able to repair submarine propellers.

    https://www.ft.com/content/e2d04cda-028f-11e7-ace0-1ce02ef0def9?

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    Replies
    1. @Anonymous at March 7, 2017 at 3:24 AM:

      Funny that you (or the FT) forgot to report how the german government responded. In short they told Mr. Navarro to fuck off and contact the competent EU authorities as single member states of the EU are not allowed to engage in bilateral trade talks.

      Urs

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    2. But the EU is not a country. Do you want the US the next time Germany wants to sell something to ask her to call NAFTA?

      Delete
    3. @ Anonymous March 8, 2017 at 9:10 PM:
      Quote:"But the EU is not a country. Do you want the US the next time Germany wants to sell something to ask her to call NAFTA?"

      1. You may have heard that for example Switzerland has this famous bilateral treaties with the EU. Bilateral not multilateral. You either deal with all of them or with none of them.
      2. The EU is a union not just a free trade agreement like NAFTA. Bilateral trade agreements between single member states of the EU and non-member states are illegal.
      3. The most important issue is the weak Euro. This can only be fixed by the ECB - not by a single member state.

      Urs

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    4. How could possibly the ECB fix the euro? The euro in two years time will be equal to $0.60. The ECB has used every trick in the book and the result is that the euro has plunged. Not only that but going to an alternative currency such as gold for as long as the euro is weakening and the dollar strengthening is a losing proposition.

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    5. If I had been Navarro, I would have responded to the Germans: "Ok, I'll be happy to talk to the EU. Who is the Finance Minister there?"

      Delete
    6. Com'on Klaus, you know the answer to this.

      The FinMin of german occupied Europe is of course Schauble, the grinch who stole christmas.

      Delete
  17. Great assessment:

    "Germany has gone from center of gravity to wild card. France is dreaming of becoming more powerful than the Germans, demonstrating that dreams don’t have a statute of limitations. Eastern Europe is chomping at the bit of Western European hypocrisy, and the Balkans is a powder keg. Europe does not solve problems, it collects them: Greece’s debt crisis, war in Ukraine, the migration crisis, non-performing loans in Italy, uncertainty in German banks. These are all regular features in the news cycle, but the only common thread between them is that they are never resolved."

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  18. Is Europe Doomed? No, only the EU is doomed; Europe will be fine:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAPJXpR4ykM

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    Replies
    1. Actually neither is doomed.

      Urs

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    2. o.k. the EU is not doomed it only looks that way.

      Delete
  19. http://dithen2010.blogspot.com/2017/02/shocking-secret-ecb-report-grexit-would.html

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  20. WASHINGTON—The Trump administration plans to press Japan, Germany and other nations with which the U.S. has large trade deficits, to buy more U.S.-made commercial and military products as a way to boost jobs and reduce the nation’s $500 billion trade deficit.

    “Any country we have a significant trade deficit with needs to work with us on a product-by-product and sector-by-sector level to reduce that deficit over a specified period of time,” Peter Navarro, director of the White House’s National Trade Council, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “That can be achieved, if they buy more of our products than they now are buying from the rest of the world, whether it’s chemicals or corn or whether, from a national security perspective, it’s submarines or aircraft.”

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    Replies
    1. @ Anonymous March 10, 2017 at 1:00 PM:

      Please explain the relationship between the dreams and plans of Mr. Navarro and the conflict of a small greek brewery and an dutch brewing giant or the greek economy in general. Thanks.

      Urs

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    2. Urs:

      In case it escapes you US trade policy dwarfs and trumps (no pun intented) the future viability of a small greek brewery as well the dutch brewing "giant" not to mention the Greek economy overall.

      Speaking about small or medium size breweries is the talk of villages; speaking of trade policies is the domain of citizens of the world.

      Now if you think for a second that the fortunes or misfortunes of a marginal Greek brewery will swell our chests with national pride and propell us to a national rennaissance of magnitude then I think you confuse us with citizens of nearby FYROM who happen to be great admirers of any flawed european empire(just name it and they are for it) and the mountainous enclaves where modern Swiss cave people live.

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    3. @Anonymous March 11, 2017 at 5:20 AM:

      Bottom line: There is none and you don’t have anything to say about the issue at hand (small greek brewery) yet you couldn’t hold back to spout twaddle.

      Urs

      Delete
    4. Urs:

      In that case why don't you impose sanctions on me including austerity and closing down my banks.

      Delete
  21. Article writing is also a fun, if you be acquainted with after that you can write otherwise it
    is complicated to write.

    ReplyDelete