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London
[United Kingdom]
Posted on : Sep 30, 2012

European Commission officials carried out unannounced inspections last week at the premises of several purchasers of scrap batteries and other lead scrap for the production of recycled lead as part of an inquiry into a suspected cartel, the EC said at the weekend.

Inspections took place in several EU member states, the EC said, adding that it "has reasons to believe that the companies concerned may have violated Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which prohibits cartels and restrictive business practices."

The EC officials were accompanied by their counterparts from the national competition authorities.

Unannounced inspections are a preliminary step in investigations into suspected cartels, the EC said. "The fact that the Commission carries out such inspections does not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behavior nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself," it said.

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