European Commission Alleges Price-Fixing Scheme Among
Pilkington, Glaverbel and Saint-Gobain
The European Commission (EC) announced yesterday that it had issued
Statements of Objection to Pilkington, Glaverbel and Saint-Gobain
alleging that the companies attempted to fix the price of flat glass
products. The alleged actions violate EC Treaty rules outlawing
restrictive business practices.
According to the Glaverbel website, a Statement of Objections is
"a procedural document whereby the European Commission communicates
its preliminary view in relation to a possible infringement of EU
competition law and allows its addressees to present arguments in
As part of the investigation, the EC inspected offices of the companies
in question in February and March of 2005. The inspections included
Pilkington offices in Sweden, Saint-Gobain offices in France, Germany
and Sweden, and various offices of Glaverbel throughout Europe.
When asked for comment, Caroline Sonigo, spokesperson for Saint-Gobain
reported that Saint-Gobain, "had nothing to add to the comission's
we have received it [the statements of objections]
and are looking at it."
Sonigo also reported that the investigation has had no effect on
the day-to-day operations of the company since the inspections in
The companies have two months to respond to the allegations in
writing and may request hearings with the Commission to present
their responses orally.
Once the responses have been heard and submitted, the Commission
may present a final decision. If it decides the glass manufacturers
are guilty, the companies face a potential fine of up to 10 percent
of worldwide annual sales.