Antitrust authorities in Europe and the U.S. are investigating over alleged price cartel and other anti-competitive practices in the fragrance industry.
Competition authorities in the EU, Switzerland, the USA and the UK have cooperated to conduct dawn raids at various corporate locations.
According to Switzerland’s anti-trust commission (COMCO), the undertakings involved in the investigation are Firmenich International SA (Geneva), Givaudan SA (Geneva), International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (USA) et Symrise AG (Germany).
“There are suspicions that [the companies] have coordinated their pricing policy, prohibited their competitors from supplying certain customers and limited the production of certain fragrances,” said the Swiss regulator.
Firmenich, one of the world’s biggest flavour and perfume manufacturers, confirmed Wednesday that its offices in France, Switzerland and Britain had been subjected to "unannounced inspections ... as part of an industry-wide investigation."
The European Commission also indicated that it had sent out “formal requests for information to several companies” active in the sector. The Commission added that it had concerns that companies and an association in the fragrance industry worldwide may have violated EU antitrust rules.
Shares in Givaudan and Symrise dropped by more than 2% on Wednesday after their names were cited in the probe. Shares of Dutch chemicals group DSM, which is currently merging with Firmenich, were also down.