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EC drops investigation into kraft paper market

An investigation into the kraft paper market in the EU has been dropped – a year and a half after the European Commission (EC) conducted raids on a company operating within the sector.

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The EC had concerns that companies had taken part in a kraft paper and industrial paper sacks cartel

Euromoney Institutional Investor, which owns global forest products price reporting agency RISI, announced in its interim report that the investigation had been dropped.

The EC announced it had conducted an “unannounced inspection” at the premises of a company operating in kraft paper sector in January of 2018. The inspection was carried out at the Brussels offices of RISI.

At the time, the Commission said it had concerns that the unnamed company had violated Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, which prohibits anticompetitive practices such as price fixing and customer allocation.

It prohibits cartels and other agreements that could restrict competition in the European Economic Area’s internal market.

… the European Commission notified RISI that its investigation into the kraft paper market had closed

In its latest interim report, Euromoney says: “In January 2018, the European Commission conducted an unannounced inspection at the Brussels office of RISI Sprl (RISI), a wholly owned subsidiary within the Group, as part of an investigation into the sector of kraft paper and industrial paper sacks in the European Union/European Economic Area.

“On 10 May 2019, the European Commission notified RISI that its investigation into the kraft paper market had closed.”

Companies can be fined up to 10% of their global turnover if found in breach of EU antitrust rules. 

The EC confirmed that the case had been administratively closed for all companies involved in the investigation and it could not provide any further details.

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