The European Commission (Commission) confirmed that, on 4 and 5 November 2008, it carried out surprise inspections at a number of companies active in the cement industry in several Member States. Lafarge SA, the world's largest cement maker, Heidelberg Cement AG, Holcim Ltd, Dyckerhoff AG, Ciments Français SA and Cemex SAB have indicated to the press that they were among the companies under investigation. The inspections have resulted from allegations that the companies may have engaged in illegal restrictive practices in breach of Articles 81 and/or 82 of the EC Treaty. The investigation is only at an early stage and is expected to last some time. The cement industry has been the subject of earlier Commission competition probes. Back in 1995, the Commission imposed heavy fines on cement producers and associations throughout the EU.