Tire cartel, Brussels inspectors in consultancy corporations | EUROtoday

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The European Antitrust opens a brand new entrance within the investigation into the alleged cartel between tire producers. After the motion launched in January in opposition to the principle European gamers within the sector (together with the Italian Pirelli & C), preparatory to a potential measure, the world of consultancy is now being focused. European Commission technicians are reportedly finishing up unannounced inspections of the headquarters of a consultancy agency in two Member States, fearing that it could have breached antitrust guidelines prohibiting cartels and restrictive industrial practices (Article 101 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union). A group notice confirms that as we speak's inspections “are conducted in the context of the investigation for which the Commission had carried out inspections at the beginning of 2024”.

The Commission is anxious that the consultancy agency could have facilitated or instigated the alleged value coordination between the tire producers, who additionally allegedly used public communication channels to collude. Commission officers on this event had been accompanied by their counterparts from the competent nationwide competitors authorities of the Member States the place the inspections had been carried out. In January Continental, Michelin, Bridgestone, Goodyear, Nokian e Pirelli had confirmed the group inspections. These are producers of tires (the investigation doesn’t concern authentic gear) for vehicles, vans, vans and buses that are bought on European territory. The regulator mentioned it suspects the businesses have illegally coordinated pricing, together with by means of public communications.

Regulators can impose fines of as much as 10% of income in the event that they resolve the proof gathered is conclusive, though firms can enchantment. Antitrust watchdogs are stepping up shock inspections of firms after the Covid disaster slowed such actions: January's transfer follows comparable evidence-gathering operations by European Union regulators within the chemical substances for building and meals supply providers. These investigations, as talked about, usually are not essentially an indication of guilt, however a preliminary step and the European Union might launch formal proceedings if proof exhibits that the businesses have violated the bloc's antitrust guidelines.

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