On 2 July 2009 the European Commission (Commission) confirmed that it had conducted unannounced inspections on industrial premises of glassmaker companies in March 2009. The inspection followed evidence leading the Commission to suspect that there has been a breach of Article 81(1) EC Treaty by companies operating in the special glass sector. Special glass is used to make thin flat monitors in products such as: mobile phones; televisions; computers; digital watches; and pocket calculators. The investigation could take a number of years.
Recent decisions in the glass sector
This investigation follows a number of recent decisions in the glass sector for anti-competitive behaviour:
- November 2008 – Commission fined car glass producers €1.38 billion for a market sharing cartel; and
- November 2007 – Commission fined flat glass producers €486.9 million for a price fixing cartel.