Scottish salmon farms investigated over alleged EU law breach – reports
A number of Scottish salmon farms have been raided as part of an investigation into whether they have breached EU laws which ban cartels, according to reports.
The BBC said officials from the European Commission (EC) visited businesses in Stirling, Fife and Shetland over concerns they may have violated anti-trust rules.
The EU-wide investigation focuses on alleged anti-competitive business practices.
An EC statement said: “The EC can confirm that on February 19 its officials carried out unannounced inspections in several Member States at the premises of several companies in the sector of farmed Atlantic salmon.
“The Commission has concerns that the inspected companies may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices.
“The Commission officials were accompanied by their counterparts from the relevant national competition authorities.
“The fact that the Commission carries out such inspections does not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour, nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself.”
The BBC reports that Scottish sites inspected include Marine Harvest – recently rebranded as Mowi – in Rosyth, Scottish Sea Farms in Stirling and Grieg Seafood in Lerwick.
The broadcaster published statements it said were from each of the companies.
Grieg Seafood said: “The salmon market is very competitive and we are not aware of any anti-competitive behaviour. We are fully co-operating with the European Commission DG Competition’s investigation.”
A spokesperson for Scottish Sea Farms said: “We can confirm that we, like other Norwegian-owned companies in Scotland, have been visited by EC officials and are co-operating fully.”
A Mowi spokeswoman said: “We have nothing to hide, we are co-operating with the European Commission.”