(Bloomberg) -- British American Tobacco Plc’s Nigerian units have been fined $110 million by the nation’s antitrust agency, which found that the Lucky Strike maker violated competition laws.

The Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission levied the fine after a three-year probe into practices at the cigarette maker, the agency said in a post on X. The tobacco company was found to have penalized retailers that gave equal prominence in stores to rival brands.

BAT agreed to pay the fine and will allow the commission to monitor its activities for two years to “ensure appropriate behavioral and business practices modification,” according to the statement. 

The tobacco company’s stock has lost almost a third of its value this year after BAT wrote down the value of its US cigarette brands by £25 billion ($32 billion). The company also reached a $635 million settlement with US authorities in April to resolve investigations into sanctions violations for selling products in North Korea and misleading banks about the source of those sales. 

Shares of BAT were little changed in London Thursday morning.  

The company mentioned the investigation in its 2022 annual report, a spokesperson for British American Tobacco (Nigeria) Ltd. said in a statement to Bloomberg. 

“BAT Nigeria acknowledges the mentioned monitorship and awareness campaigns and has cooperated fully with the FCCPC’s appointed service providers,” the spokesperson said. 

One out of 10 Nigerians smoke daily making the nation home to the highest number of smokers in Africa, according to a research published by BMC Public Health. 


--With assistance from Sabah Meddings.

(Updates with background in fourth paragraph)

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