EU raids offices of electrical equipment producers

3 Feb 2010

The European Commission said today that it has raided the offices of electrical equipment producers under the suspicion that they are operating a cartel.

The Commission said the producers in question make Flexible Alternating Current Transmission Systems (FACTS), which is used to increase the power transfer capability of electricity transmission networks.

The Commission said it believed the companies whose offices it raided today “may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices”.

“Surprise inspections are a preliminary step in investigations into suspected cartels,” the Commission said, adding that its officials were accompanied by their counterparts from the relevant national competition authorities.

As to the companies involved in the raids, the Swiss technology company ABB Ltd confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that its Swedish offices were paid a visit by Commission officials.

Siemens also confirmed to the WSJ that it is part of the Commission’s investigation into FACTS.

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