The European Commission has announced that, on 10 October 2007, it conducted surprise inspections at the offices of certain providers of international freight forwarding services. The Commission believes that the companies may have engaged in pricing practices forbidden by Article 81 of the EC Treaty. Freight forwarders arrange the transport and delivery of items for shipping companies. While the Commission did not disclose the names of the companies involved, Swiss-based freight forwarders Kuehne & Nagel International AG and Panalpina Welttransport Holding AG acknowledged that they had been inspected, both in Europe and also in the United States, where a parallel investigation is being conducted by the US Department of Justice. Unannounced investigations are the first step in a cartel investigation and there is no time frame for completion of cartel inquiries.