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  The European Commission has adopted a formal decision rejecting a
  complaint made by a Spanish cigarette filter producer, FILTRONA
  ESPANOLA, against the Spanish tobacco monopoly holder TABACALERA.
  The complaint accused Tabacalera of abusing a dominant position as a
  purchaser of cigarette filters by increasing its own production of
  ordinary cigarette filters from 44% to 100% of its requirements and
  therefore ceasing to buy filters from outside suppliers.
  After a thorough examination of the complaint, the Commission came to
  the conclusion that Filtrona Espanola was not dependent on Tabacalera
  for its sales of cigarette filters.  Filtrona Espanola, which belongs
  to the Filtrona International group, exports its filters to the rest
  of the EEC and to world markets.  It also has the technological and
  financial resources necessary to change its production from ordinary
  filters to the special cigarette filters which Tabacalera will
  continue to buy from outside suppliers and for which world-wide demand
  is increasing.  Therefore Tabaclera was not found to hold a dominant
  position as a purchaser because Filtrona has substitute outlets and
  the possibility of changing its production.
  The Commission also came to the conclusion that Tabacalera's decision
  to produce its own cigarette filters was not an abuse of a dominant
  position, because a company's production of its own requirements is
  not in itself an abnormal act of competition.  Production by cigarette
  manufacturers of their own filters is common practice in the industry.
  In addition, Tabacalera justified its vertical integration on economic
  grounds.  Production of all its filter requirements allows it to
  realise economies of scale and generally to reduce its production
  costs.  There were no special circumstances suggesting that
  Tabacalera's decision was part of an abusive behaviour or strategy.
  The Commission has therefore decided to reject Filtrona's complaint.
  For further information please contact:
  Michael Berendt  235.85.62
  Elizabeth Kaiser 235.22.10

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