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Brussels, 22 November 2000

Commission confirms inspections at Italian steel producers

The European Commission confirms that it carried out surprise inspections on October 19 and 20, 2000 at the premises of certain Italian steel producers of round reinforcing rods and their association Federacciai.

The inspections, which were conducted by the Competition services of the Commission and assisted by the Italian authorities, aimed to find evidence of possible collusion between the operators in the sector to fix minimum prices and production quotas.

The investigation is still at a preliminary phase and the Commission has not yet reached any conclusion as to whether the companies concerned have entered into an illegal cartel.

The Commission has exclusive competence in applying the European Coal and Steel Community treaty competition rules.

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