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EU antitrust regulators raid consultancy in tyre cartel investigation

FILE PHOTO: A tyre produced by the Italian company Pirelli is on display at a dealership in Moscow

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators on Tuesday raided a consultancy in two EU countries on concerns that it may have breached EU cartel rules, following raids on several major tyre makers in January, the European Commission said.

The Commission, which acts as the EU competition enforcer did not name the consultancy.

"The Commission is concerned that the consultancy firm may have facilitated or instigated the suspected price coordination amongst tyre manufacturers, which allegedly also used public communications channels to collude," the EU executive said in a statement.

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Pirelli, Continental, Michelin, Bridgestone and Nokian Tyres confirmed the EU raids in January.

Companies found guilty of breaching EU antitrust rules face fines as much as 10% of their global annual turnover.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee)