Following inspections on 19 October 2010, the Spanish Competition Authority ('CNC') decided on 15 March 2011 to commence formal investigation proceedings against 17 companies for alleged anti-competitive practices involving market sharing and price-fixing agreements, as well as limitation of technical development in the market for manufacture, distribution and marketing of paper envelopes.
As a result of the inspections the Investigations Division of the CNC found sufficient initial evidence of the possible existence of prohibited conduct including, but not exhaustively: the dividing up of customers in relation to public and private tender processes for envelope supply for Spanish elections and major Spanish corporations respectively; price fixing in the distribution of catalogue envelopes aimed at Spanish printers and business; and restricting the technical development in relation to paper envelope manufacture, distribution and marketing.
The CNC now has up to 18 months to investigate the case and issue a decision. The CNC stressed that the opening of the proceedings does not pre-judge the final outcome of the investigations.
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