April 27, 2018 / 10:15 AM / a year ago

EU antitrust regulators to investigate metal packaging cartel case

BRUSSELS, April 27 (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators have taken over an investigation into a suspected cartel of metal packaging companies from the German cartel agency because the illegal activity took place in several EU countries and not just in Germany.

The Bundeskartellamt raided several companies in March 2015 following a tip-off, targeting makers of tin and aluminium cans used for food and chemicals, as well as manufacturers of vacuum seals for jars.

The German watchdog said on Friday it had handed over the case to the European Commission because the alleged cartel affected other EU countries in addition to Germany.

It said the move was also due to the possibility that it may not be able to sanction some of the suspected cartel members because they restructured their operations during the German investigation.

The Commission said its assessment was ongoing. The EU competition enforcer can fine companies up to 10 percent of their global turnover for breaching EU rules.

The regulators have not named the suspected cartel members. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Mark Potter)

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