“The group is cooperating fully with the commission in the course of this investigation,” a short press release from Kering, the French parent company of Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Yves Saint Laurent, said.
Earlier in the day, Reuters news agency reported that the commission raided Gucci’s offices in Milan with Italy’s tax inspectorate. Two informed sources told Reuters that the matter is related to the production of handbags, suitcases and other leather goods.
The European Commission announced on Tuesday that “unannounced inspections” are taking place at companies from the fashion industry in several EU member states. There may be a violation of competition and cartel rules.
The committee did not name any, but according to a Reuters source, a company outside the Kering Group was also to receive inspectors.
A fine of up to 10 percent of the annual turnover
The European Commission said the inspections were the first and preliminary step in an investigation into possible abuses by the cartels. Nor does it mean that the companies are actually guilty of breaking the rules.
The EU fine for violating cartel rules can be up to ten percent of the company’s annual turnover. Companies that participated in the formation of a clandestine cartel, report it, and cooperate with the investigation may be granted immunity or a significant reduction in fines.
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