EU’s Almunia says sugar producers in antitrust raids last month

Several white sugar producers were raided by regulators last month on suspicion of taking part in a cartel, the European Union’s antitrust chief said on Tuesday.

The raids came amid complaints about unfair trading practices in the food industry which prompted the European Commission to set up a task force to investigate alleged anti-competitive practices.

“Last month, we also carried out surprise inspections at the premises of a number of producers of white sugar in several member states,” European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told an ECR Europe conference.

Almunia did not name the companies.

National competition authorities in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Latvia and Romania investigated eight price-fixing deals between sugar producers between 2004 to 2011.

France, Germany, Poland and Britain are the biggest sugar producers in Europe, according to Commission data.

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