Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Conserve Italia for participation in canned vegetables cartel

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


The European Commission has informed Conserve Italia Soc. coop. Agricola and its subsidiary Conserves France SA (together referred to as Conserve Italia) of its preliminary view that they have breached EU antitrust rules by colluding to distort competition in the market for canned vegetables in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Conserve Italia is an Italian agricultural cooperative producing amongst other products 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.

If the Commission’s preliminary view were confirmed, such behaviour would violate EU rules that prohibit anti-competitive business practices such as collusion on prices and market sharing (Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 53 of the EEA Agreement).

The sending of a Statement of Objections does not prejudge the outcome of an investigation.

Background

In September 2019, the Commission adopted a settlement decision against Bonduelle, Coroos and Groupe CECAB, finding that the three companies participated for more than 13 years in a cartel for the supply of certain types of canned vegetables to retailers and/or food service companies in the EEA. The Commission’s investigation had started with unannounced inspections in October 2013. The three companies admitted their involvement in the cartel and total fines of €31.6 million were imposed.

In the context of the same investigation, the Commission opened proceedings against a fourth company, Conserve Italia. Conserve Italia was not covered by the September 2019 settlement decision and therefore, the investigation concerning this company continued under the standard (non-settlement) cartel procedure.

A Statement of Objections is a formal step in Commission investigations into suspected violations of EU rules on restrictive business practices. The Commission informs the parties concerned in writing of the objections raised against them. The parties can then examine the documents in the Commission’s investigation file, reply in writing and request an oral hearing to present their comments on the case before representatives of the Commission and national competition authorities.

If, after the parties have exercised their rights of defence, the Commission concludes that there is sufficient evidence of an infringement, it can adopt a decision prohibiting the conduct and imposing a fine of up to 10% of a company’s annual worldwide turnover.

There is no legal deadline for the Commission to complete antitrust inquiries into anticompetitive conduct. The duration of an antitrust investigation depends on a number of factors, including the complexity of the case, the extent to which the undertaking concerned cooperates with the Commission and the exercise of the rights of defence.

More information is available under the case number AT.40127 in the public case register on the Commission’s competition website.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

4 eco-friendly products put sustainable spins on classic practices, from teacups to hankies

Parliament proposes policy toolbox to curb air pollution

EU Cohesion policy: Commission adopts €21 billion Greek Partnership Agreement for 2021-2027

UN welcomes Angola’s repeal of anti-gay law, and ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation

The fatal consequences of troika’s blind austerity policy

Protecting migratory species in a rapidly changing world

Companies that put employees first perform better

Prejudice-based medicine

Egyptian death sentences a ‘gross miscarriage of justice’: UN human rights chief

Palliative care and UHC in India: Still Uncharted Waters?

EU Commission announces Safe Harbour 2.0 and a wider Data protection reform

Traffic congestion cost the US economy nearly $87 billion in 2018

How we can win the war against antibiotic resistance

EU sets ambitious targets for the Warsaw climate conference

Mental health in medical students: the deciphered quandary

‘Jerusalem is not for sale’ Palestinian President Abbas tells world leaders at UN Assembly

India’s mega-rich are on the rise

Funding boost for sustainable development data agreed at UN conference

Dieselgate: Parliament calls for mandatory retrofits of polluting cars

Human rights breaches in Nigeria and Burundi

Moving from a promise made in Sweden towards hope for peace in Yemen

Ignorance or Refusal: Determinants in the individual’s choice for palliative care

Future Forces Forum: Prague will be hosting the most important project in the field of Defence and Security

To achieve the Great Reset, we will need more than just the actions of the powerful

Alternative proteins will transform food, mitigate climate change and drive profits. Here’s how

GSMA Mobile 360 Series – Europe – 14 June 2016

Antibiotics are contaminating the world’s rivers

This is how wellbeing drives social change and why cultural leaders need to talk about it

‘Unique opportunity’ to resolve border dispute between Sudan, South Sudan

Erasmus+: over €28 billion to support mobility and learning for all, across the European Union and beyond

Europe had a record year for Measles – and it’s partly down to anti-vaccine campaigners

Human rights breaches in Hong Kong, Russia and at the US-Mexican border

How governments can redesign support for entrepreneurs after COVID-19

What little Cameron got in Brussels seems enough to keep Britain in the EU

Climate change will be sudden and cataclysmic. We need to act fast

Athens urged to fast track asylum seekers amid island shelters crisis – UNHCR

EU-Vietnam trade agreement enters into force

Apparently the EU Digital Single Market passes necessarily from China’s Digital Silk Road

FROM THE FIELD: facing up to the extreme mental health pressures of conflict

Facebook: MEPs demand a full audit by EU bodies to assess data protection

Can Southeast Asia keep up with growing energy demand?

Religious violence is on the rise. What can faith-based communities do about it?

Draghi to hold on zero interest rates until he leaves ECB

Employment and Social Developments in Europe: 2019 review highlights that tackling climate change can be a driver for growth and jobs

Coronavirus variants: Commission calls for limiting essential travel from India

World Retail Congress Dubai 2016: Retail’s night of nights

Global Cooperation for Local Action: Fighting antimicrobial resistance

GSMA Introduces MWC21 Travel Partner Gray Dawes

EU Budget 2019: no deal before the end of the conciliation period

The Indian miracle state pointing the way to global sustainability

Amid ongoing fighting in northeast Syria, hundreds cross Iraqi border in search of safety

Poorer countries set to be ‘increasingly dependent’ on food imports, says UN food agency report

230 Junior Entrepreneurs and over 70 guests attended the International Congress on “Entrepreneurial Skills for Youth”

Summer pause gives time to rethink Eurozone’s problems

At last Britain considers a super-soft Brexit

Towards a tobacco free India

UN chief encourages victims of terrorism to ‘raise up their voices’

This Latin American country is keeping COVID-19 firmly under control. How?

‘Nothing left to go back for’: UN News hears extraordinary stories of loss, and survival as Mozambique rebuilds from deadly cyclones

This young activist explains how to change the world in 3 steps

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s