According to a CNC statement, the following firms are involved in the investigations: Europac, SAICA, Embalajes Petit, Hispano Embalaje, Smurfit Kappa España, Cartonajes Santorromán, Rafael Hinojosa, Cartonajes Internacional, Lantero Cartón, Cartonajes Bernabéu and Cartonajes Vegabaja. Moreover, the Spanish Association of Corrugated Packaging Manufacturers, Asociación Española de Fabricantes de Envases y Embalajes de Cartón Ondulado (AFCO), is also under investigation.
The competition watchdog said the possible anticompetitive behavior may involve, amongst others, collective recommendations, the sharing and fixing of prices and terms of trade as well as the allocation of clients in the areas of containerboard as well as corrugated board production and conversion. These practices might have constituted a breach of article 1 of the Spanish Competition Act 15/2007 of July 3, 2007, it added.
According to the competition watchdog, the investigation of this conduct arose from the inspections at the premises of 6 of the above mentioned entities that were carried out on April 10 and 11. On May 10 it decided to open formal proceedings due to the existence of prima facie evidence of anti-competitive practices.
However, the authority emphasized that the opening of the proceedings does not prejudge the final outcome of the investigation. There is now a maximum period of 18 months for the investigation of the case and its resolution by the CNC council.
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