On 2 and 3 May 2007 the European Commission carried out unannounced inspections (“dawn raids”) at the premises of several marine hose producers in France, Italy and the United Kingdom. Marine hoses are involved in the transportation of crude oil and petroleum products. The Commission has reason to believe that the companies visited may be involved in cartel activity at a worldwide level, and similar actions were taken by the US Department of Justice. There is no timetable for cartel proceedings and the duration of an investigation depends on a number of factors such as the case complexity and extent of co-operation. The outcome of the inspections may not therefore be known for years.