EU Commission confirms salmon company raids
The European Commission has confirmed that a number of unannounced inspections have been carried out in several member states at the premises of a number of salmon farming companies, linked to investigations into EU anti-trust rules.
According to a terse statement from the Commission, the raids that took place in several member states are due to concerns that the companies concerned may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices (Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union).
Commission officials were accompanied by their counterparts from the relevant national competition authorities.
The Commission’s statement sets out that unannounced inspections are a preliminary investigatory step into suspected anti-competitive 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,’ the Commission stated.
‘The Commission respects the rights of defence, in particular the right of companies to be heard in antitrust proceedings. There is no legal deadline to complete inquiries into anti-competitive conduct. Their duration depends on a number of factors, including the complexity of each case, the extent to which the companies concerned co-operate with the Commission and the exercise of the rights of defence.’
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