EU antitrust authority investigates several fashion labels
The news has slipped virtually under the radar, but it might herald serious consequences for some fashion labels. On May 17, the European Commission carried out a series of unannounced inspections at several companies active in the fashion sector in various EU member states, as the Commission indicated in a press release. The Commission is concerned the companies may have violated European antitrust regulations, which prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices.
The Commission also sent requests for information to several labels. The names of the companies in question have not been revealed. The Commission also did not indicate which member countries were involved, nor did it specify the investigation’s exact nature. EU antitrust officials were accompanied by their counterparts from national competition authorities.
“Unannounced inspections are a preliminary investigative step into suspected anticompetitive practices,” stated the European Commission, adding that this does not mean “that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour, nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself.” Fines for competition infringements may amount to up to 10% of a company’s revenue.
“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 companies concerned co-operate with the Commission and the need to respect the parties' rights of defence,” added the EU Commission.
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