EU Targets Conserve Italia For Cartel Activity In Canned Goods

Food company Conserve Italia has run a cartel to distort competition in canned vegetables in the European Union, breaking EU antitrust rules, the European Commission stated on Monday, October 5, in a preliminary finding and sending a statement of objections.

Conserve Italia is an Italian agricultural cooperative producing canned vegetables. The Commission has concerns that Conserve Italia may have colluded with other market participants within the EEA to fix selling prices, share markets, and allocate customers for the supply of certain types of canned vegetables (under own brands or under private labels) to retailers and/or food service companies.

In particular, the Commission suspects that Conserve Italia has participated in horizontal price fixing and market sharing agreements, through which they coordinated their commercial conduct with other market participants, for several consecutive years.

The investigation follows a 2019 decision to impose a fine of more than €30 million (US$35.26 million) on French and Dutch firms who also ran a cartel for canned vegetables in the European Union.