EU Competition Commissioner Warns of More Anti-Cartel Raids, Criticises ‘No-Poach’ Deals

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European Commission's enforcement  Vice President Margrethe Vestager delivers a code   during a statement   connected  EU-Taiwan governmental  relations and practice  astatine  the European Parliament successful  Strasbourg, France connected  Oct. 19, 2021. (Ronald Wittek/Pool via Reuters)

European Commission's enforcement Vice President Margrethe Vestager delivers a code during a statement connected EU-Taiwan governmental relations and practice astatine the European Parliament successful Strasbourg, France connected Oct. 19, 2021. (Ronald Wittek/Pool via Reuters)

BRUSSELS—EU enforcers are readying a bid of raids against companies suspected of amerciable price-fixing, Europe’s antitrust main warned connected Friday, arsenic she besides sounded the alarm astir contention successful labour markets owed to “no-poach” deals.

The European Commission past week raided Europe’s largest pulp producers Stora Enso and UPM, and Metsa Board portion Metsa Fibre, the archetypal successful 2 years arsenic the COVID-19 pandemic halted specified actions.

Companies suspected of taking portion successful different cartels should soon spot officials knocking connected their doors, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

“And that’s conscionable the commencement of a bid of raids that we’re readying for the months to come—you’ll recognize if I don’t accidental precisely erstwhile oregon wherever they’re going to happen,” she told a league organized by the Italian anti-trust authorization successful Rome.

Companies recovered blameworthy of taking portion successful cartels look fines arsenic overmuch arsenic 10 percent of their planetary turnover. Whistleblowers are rewarded with immunity from sanctions portion those who supply important accusation tin get hefty reductions successful their penalties.

She said regulators whitethorn sweeten specified alleged leniency deals with companies arsenic the maturation successful backstage damages claims from customers deter galore from sharing cardinal information with enforcers.

Vestager besides criticized “no-poach” agreements betwixt companies, saying that this could make a cartel, a motion that she whitethorn beryllium mulling action.

Individuals are straight affected “when companies collude to hole the wages they wage oregon erstwhile they usage alleged ‘no-poach’ agreements arsenic an indirect mode to support wages down, restricting endowment from moving wherever it serves the system best,” she said.

No-poach agreements, successful which companies hold not to prosecute each others’ workers, and non-compete agreements, successful which workers motion contracts pledging not to permission to enactment for a rival, person successful caller years drawn criticism.

By Foo Yun Chee

Reuters

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