EU’s Vestager warns of more anti-cartel raids, criticises ‘no-poach’ deals By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: European Fee’s government Vice President Margrethe Vestager delivers a speech throughout a debate on EU-Taiwan political relations and cooperation on the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, October 19, 2021. Ronald Wittek/Pool through REU

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU enforcers are planning a sequence of raids towards corporations suspected of unlawful price-fixing, Europe’s anti-trust chief warned on Friday, as she additionally sounded the alarm about competitors in labour markets resulting from “no-poach” offers.

The European Fee final week raided Europe’s largest pulp producers Stora Enso (OTC:) and UPM, and Metsa Board unit Metsa Fibre, the primary in two years because the COVID-19 pandemic halted such actions.

Corporations suspected of participating in different cartels ought to quickly see officers knocking on their doorways, EU Competitors Commissioner Margrethe Vestager stated.

“And that is simply the beginning of a sequence of raids that we’re planning for the months to return – you will perceive if I do not say precisely when or the place they’ll occur,” she advised a convention organised by the Italian anti-trust authority in Rome.

Corporations discovered responsible of participating in cartels face fines as a lot as 10% of their international turnover. Whistleblowers are rewarded with immunity from sanctions whereas those that present essential info can get hefty reductions of their penalties.

She stated regulators might sweeten such so-called leniency offers with corporations as the expansion in non-public damages claims from prospects deter many from sharing key information with enforcers.

Vestager additionally criticised “no-poach” agreements between corporations, saying that this might create a cartel, an indication that she could also be mulling motion.

People are straight effected “when corporations collude to repair the wages they pay or once they use so-called ‘no-poach’ agreements as an oblique solution to preserve wages down, limiting expertise from shifting the place it serves the financial system finest”, she stated.

No-poach agreements, wherein corporations agree to not rent every others’ staff, and non-compete agreements, wherein staff signal contracts pledging to not depart to work for a rival, have in recent times drawn criticism.

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