EC raids Portuguese brewery offices

Commissions extends probes into suspected price cartels

Jan 18, 2001 - The European Commission officials this week raided the Lisbon and Oporto offices of Portuguese brewing companies Unicer and Centralcer looking for evidence of suspected price fixing, market sharing and information exchange.


"Any documents seized in this week's inspections would have to be examined carefully, and it is impossible to prejudge the outcome of the investigation or to say when it will be concluded," a statement from the commission read.

The two brewers account for about 98% of the Portuguese beer market.

The commission is also investigating suspected cartels on the beer market in other European countries. The commission carried out raids in 1999 and 2000 in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Italy.

The U.K.'s Scottish & Newcastle PLC and VTR SGPS SA have joint control of Centralcontrol SGPS, which controls Centralcer.

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