The Commission sent a Statement of Objections (“SO”) to a number of suppliers of smart card chips concerning a suspected violation of Article 101 of the TFEU and Article 53 of the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA) prohibiting cartels and restrictive business practices. The SO outlines the Commission’s preliminary view that the smart card chip suppliers in question may have participated in a cartel by agreeing or coordinating their behavior in the EEA with the purpose of keeping prices up. The Commission initially agreed to examine the possibility of a settlement with the companies involved but has now discontinued the talks due to lack of progress. Source: Commission Press Release 22/4/2013