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Statement of Objection Sent to Suspected Participants in North Sea Shrimps Cartel

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EU - The European Commission has informed four traders of North Sea shrimps of its preliminary view that they may have infringed EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels.

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The Commission has concerns that these companies may have colluded to fix prices and allocate markets and customers at least in the Netherlands, Germany, France and Belgium The sending of a statement of objections does not prejudge the final outcome of the investigation.

In March 2009, the Commission carried out unannounced inspections at premises of a number of producers of North Sea shrimps (see MEMO/09/142). The Commission does not reveal the name of the companies at this stage as it respects the rights of defence and the presumption of innocence.

This investigation concerns the food sector which has been identified as a priority sector for the action of both competition authorities in Europe and the European Commission in order to ensure that food markets work for suppliers and consumers alike (see IP/12/502).