EU accuses Italian food company of cartel behaviour

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Food company Conserve Italia has run a cartel to distort competition in canned vegetables in the European Union, breaking EU antitrust rules, the European Commission said on Monday in a preliminary funding and sending a statement of objections.

The Commission said it had informed Conserve Italia Soc. Coop. Agricola and its subsidiary Conserves France SA - together known as Conserve Italia - of its preliminary finding that were guilty of “colluding to distort competition in the market for canned vegetables in the European Economic Area”.

The investigation follows a 2019 decision to impose a fine of more than 30 million euros (27.24 million pounds) on French and Dutch firms who also ran a cartel for canned vegetables in the European Union.

Reporting by Robin Emmott; editing by Philip Blenkinsop