Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Raids on European Newsprint Makers Probe Price Fixing

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Raids on European Newsprint Makers Probe Price Fixing

Article excerpt

REACTING TO ACCELERATING newsprint price jumps that mirror those in North America, the European Commission's (EC) competition directorate unleashed its investigators in raids of the offices of 40 paper producers.

The EC announced that the raids -- which were carried out simultaneously April 25 -- were part of an investigation of alleged price fixing by newsprint producers.

EC officials said they were acting in part because of complaints from European newspaper publishers, who, like their North American counterparts, have seen newsprint prices advance by more than a third over the past year. European suppliers have announced another increase for July.

"We feel that, in light of the information received, we should investigate what was going on," said Karel Van Miert, head of the so-called DG4 competition directorate of the European Commission. "In a very short time there were price increases of about 20%," Van Miert added in the statement.

The raids took place at the offices of suppliers throughout Europe, including those of major newsprint makers in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland and Austria.

The commission announced it expected the price-fixing investigation to last about three to six months. …

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