European Commission (EC) officials have carried out “unannounced inspections” of companies active in styrene monomer purchasing, the EC announced 8 June.
Raids, it said, were carried out 5 June in several Member States in response to concerns about cartel activities and restrictive business practices in the industry.
Styrene monomer is a raw material for a number of chemical products such as plastics, resins, rubbers and latexes, the statement noted.
Commission officials were accompanied by their counterparts from the relevant national competition authorities during the unannounced inspections – a preliminary step in investigations into suspected anticompetitive practices.
However, the EC pointed out that such inspections do not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour nor does it prejudge the outcome of any investigation.
There is no legal deadline to complete inquiries into anti-competitive conduct, the Commission added.