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Brussels, 27th July 2007
Competition: Commission confirms sending of a Statement of Objections regarding an alleged cartel for the sale of bananas
The European Commission can confirm that a Statement of Objections was sent this week to a number of companies including importers, alleging their participation in a cartel for the sale of bananas, in violation of Article 81 of the EC Treaty and Article 53 of the Agreement on the European Economic Area.
A Statement of Objections is a formal step in Commission antitrust investigations in which the Commission informs the parties concerned in writing of the objections raised against them. The addressee of a Statement of Objections can reply in writing to the Statement of Objections, setting out all facts known to it which are relevant to its defence against the objections raised by the Commission. The party may also request an oral hearing to present its comments on the case.
The Commission may then take a decision on whether conduct addressed in the Statement of Objections is compatible or not with the EC Treaty’s antitrust rules. Sending a Statement of Objections does not prejudge the final outcome of the procedure.
The Commission does not have any further comment to make.