Surprise Inspections at European Styrene Buyers
European officials have carried out unannounced inspections on companies that buy styrene. The European Commission said it had concerns that the inspected companies might have violated antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices.
The raids – a preliminary step into suspected anticompetitive behavior – took place on Jun. 5 across various member states. Commission officials were accompanied by their counterparts from relevant national competition authorities.
The Commission has not named any of the companies involved; however the UK’s Synthomer confirmed that an inspection took place at its London office last week. In an official statement released on Jun. 8, Synthomer said it took competition laws very seriously and it would continue to fully cooperate with the Commission throughout the investigation.
There is no legal deadline to complete enquiries, and the Commission said the duration of the investigation depends on several factors, including the complexity of each case, the extent to which companies co-operate and the exercise of their rights of defense.