European Commission inspectors target construction chemicals companies in antitrust probe

The Berlaymont building - headquaters of the European Commission The Berlaymont building - headquaters of the European Commission (Image: Andrzej via AdobeStock -

The European Commission is carrying out unannounced inspections on companies in the construction chemicals sector as part of antitrust investigations, it has announced.

The Commission said it was concerned that some of the inspected companies may have violated rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices.

The construction chemicals concerned by the inspection are chemical additives for cement and chemical admixtures for concrete and mortar.

The inspections were conducted in coordination with the UK Competition and Markets Authority and the Turkish Competition Authority.

The Commission said it had also been in contact with the United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.

Unannounced inspections are a preliminary investigatory step into suspected anticompetitive practices. The fact that the Commission carries out such inspections does not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself.

There is no legal deadline to complete inquiries into anticompetitive conduct. Their duration depends on a number of factors, including the complexity of each case, the extent to which the undertakings concerned co-operate with the Commission and the exercise of the rights of defence.

Under the Commission’s leniency programme companies that have been involved in a secret cartel may be granted immunity from fines or significant reductions in fines in return for reporting the conduct and cooperating with the Commission throughout its investigation.

It also encourages individuals and companies to report cartel or other anti-competitive behaviour on an anonymous basis through the Commission’s whistle-blower tool.


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Andy Brown Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786224 E-mail: [email protected]
Neil Gerrard Senior Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 7355 092 771 E-mail: [email protected]
Catrin Jones Deputy Editor, Editorial, UK – Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 791 2298 133 E-mail: [email protected]
Eleanor Shefford Brand Manager Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786 236 E-mail: [email protected]