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The European Commission has confirmed that it has started dawn raids at the premises of companies operating in the fashion industry in several Member States. Officers from national competition authorities accompanied Commission officials at these inspections. The Commission has also sent out formal requests for information to such companies. The Commission clarified that it is concerned that these companies are in breach of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which prohibits cartels and other restrictive arrangements, however no further details were forthcoming from the Commission at this stage.

Unannounced inspections – or “dawn raids” as they are informally called – are normally a preliminary investigate step when a competition authority suspects an infringement of the competition rules. Such inspections indicate therefore a suspicion of anti-competitive conduct by the competition authority.

Disclaimer: This document does not purport to give legal, financial or tax advice. Should you require further information or legal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Annalies Muscat.