The EU’s antitrust regulator reported that it has raided companies in the fashion industry in several European Union countries on concerns that they may be taking part in a cartel.
The European Commission did not name the companies or countries involved. “The companies concerned may have violated Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 53 of the European Economic Area Agreement, which prohibit cartels and other restrictive business practices.” the EU competition agency said in a statement.
Surprise inspections or ‘dawn raids’ are a preliminary investigative step into suspected anticompetitive practices. The fact that the Commission would carry out such inspections and send out formal requests for information does not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour, nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself.
The authority also questioned various other companies in the sector for information but did not name them. Companies found guilty of breaching EU antitrust rules risk fines as high as 10% of their global turnover.
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