In a statement, Werner Langen said that the European wine and spirit industry was suffering because glass container prices had risen by 30 per cent in the last year.
"Since the European market for glass bottles is dominated by three main producers, the [European wine and spirit] producers suspect illegal price fixing is behind the exorbitant price rises," Langen said.
Two main European glass container producers
Currently the US group O-I (which bought French firm BSN-Glasspack in 2004), Saint Gobain of France and Ireland's Ardagh Glass (which last year acquired the glass packaging unit of can maker Rexam) claim to be the main European glass container makers, although Langen did not name them specifically.
None were immediately available for comment.
The European container glass federation, which represents the wider glass container industry in the EU, told FoodProductionDaily.com that had no knowledge of Langen's complaint, or of the accusations of price fixing.
Langen said he had asked the EC whether it could confirm the increase in glass prices, and if so how it planned to respond to the official complaint from European wine and spirit producers.
Competition authorities confirm formal investigation
He said the competition authorities had acknowledged receipt of his request, but that they could not yet confirm whether they would carry out a formal investigation into the price rises or whether there was any confirmation of a cartel.
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