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Brussels, 2nd August 2007
Competition: Commission confirms sending statement of objections to companies in sodium chlorate sector
The European Commission can confirm that a Statement of Objections has been sent to a number of companies regarding their role in a cartel for sodium chlorate, alleging that they violated Article 81 of the EC Treaty and Article 53 of the Agreement on the European Economic Area. Sodium chlorate is mainly used as a bleaching agent in the pulp and paper industry.
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.