Cosmetics giants investigated for price fixing in Switzerland

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cartel

Swiss competition authorities (COMCO) are investigating some of the world’s largest cosmetic companies for possible price fixing.

The Swiss arms of L’Oréal, Clarins, Parfums Christian Dior, Chanel and Coty are all implicated in the investigation which was opened Monday by the secretary of COMCO.

All the companies mentioned are members of the group ASCOPA, the association for manufacturers, importers and distributors of cosmetics and fragrance products.

ASCOPA is the target of the investigation and the competition authorities will be considering whether the exchange of information within the association is anti-competitive.

COMCO received a tip off claiming that sensitive commercial information regarding prices was being regularly exchanged within the association.

“The investigation will determine whether the exchange of information between the association’s members affected the competitive behaviour of its members and whether it constitutes a prohibited agreement,”​ said COMCO in a statement.

This is by no means the first time these companies have been dragged into the spotlight for potentially anti-competitive behaviour.

Back in July this year L’Oréal, Clarins, Coty and Chanel were amongst a total of nine German arms of international firms found guilty of exchanging information that violated anti-trust laws.

The Cartel Office said the companies had been meeting four times a year to discuss figures, recent advertising costs and planned price increases since 1995.

Not only does the behaviour violate German and European anti-trust laws, the Cartel Office said that it was particularly worrying as a vast majority of the major luxury players in Germany were involved.

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