Concerns over possible irregular exchange of information
EU Commission Competition authority inspectors visited Ineos Vinyl and Hydro Polymers’ UK premises this week as part of an investigation into a possible breach of merger regulations.
Ineos Vinyl and Hydro Polymers were visited on Tuesday and Wednesday in connection with an investigation of a possible infringement of Article 7 (1) of the Merger Regulations. The EU inspectors were accompanied by their counterparts from the national competition authority, the UK Office of Fair Trading.
The purpose of the visits was to establish whether any irregular exchange of information had taken place between the two companies prior to the Commission’s approval for the Ineos take-over of Hydro Polymers.
Article 7 (1) relates to implementation of a “proposed concentration between undertakings” before Commission clearance.
The EU said its merger control regime requires it to act whenever it suspects an infringement of the regulation but added that such inspections do not imply illicit behaviour or prejudging of the merger investigation.
Hydro said in a statement issued yesterday that it: “has taken the necessary measures to ensure compliance with competition regulations from the time the transaction was signed on May 21.” The company still expects the transaction to be completed in the first quarter of next year.
A statement from Ineos said it is confident that it has complied fully with the competition regulations covering the proposed transactions.
The EU announced in September that it was to carry out an investigation of the deal focusing on the UK market share implications for S grade PVC and some Scandinavian markets.
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