On 21 February 2008 the European Commission sent a Statement of Objections (SO), the first step in formal competition infringement proceedings, to Alcan, the parent company of an international aluminium group. The SO outlines the Commission’s preliminary view that Alcan has infringed EC competition rules on abuse of a dominant position by tying its aluminium smelting technology, a market in which it is dominant, with handling equipment for aluminium smelters (the so-called Pot Tending Assembly or PTA). According to the Commission, this contractual tie might significantly harm Alcan’s customers (as they appear to be prevented from using PTAs from other suppliers) and, ultimately, end-users of aluminium, through reduction in innovation and a likely negative impact on aluminium prices. Alcan has eight weeks to reply to the SO.