The European Commission has conducted surprise inspections of companies that produce compressors used in refrigeration, on suspicion of price fixing and customer allocation in violation of Article 81 EC. These inspections, known as dawn raids, took place in several EU Member States. Coordinated inspections were also carried out by competition law enforcement authorities in Brazil and the United States on suspicion of the same conduct.

A statement by Brazil’s Secretariat of Economic Law confirmed the raids, and asserts that the investigations were launched after one company came forward seeking leniency. The names of the companies involved have not been released, although one Danish company confirmed that its facilities in Denmark, Germany and the United States had been raided. Dawn raids are only a preliminary step in an investigation, and do not prejudge the outcome.

This case provides an example of competition authorities working together on a coordinated, global basis to investigate alleged infringements of competition law.