Glass Industry

EU Charges Flat Glass Producers with Price Fixing

The European Commission confirmed on Wednesday that they had formally charged several flat glass producers of running an illegal cartel to fix prices.

The European Union's antitrust watchdog had sent a Statement of Objections to a number of companies, alleging they fixed the prices of flat glass products, which are used by the building sector.

The price fixing restricted competition in the market in violation of EU rules outlawing restrictive business practices, the commission said.

The formal step in European antitrust investigations was taken after several inspections carried out two year ago.

Under the procedure, the companies concerned have two months to defend themselves in writing. They can also ask the commission to hear their case at an oral hearing, which usually takes place about one month after the written reply has been received.

Only after having heard the company's defence can the commission take a final decision, which may be accompanied by fines of up to ten percent of a company's worldwide annual turnover.

The European Commission has tended to take a tougher stand against illegal cartel practices recently. It handed down a record antitrust fine of almost a billion euros over several lift companies for running illegal cartels.

Source: People's Daily Online