Easier cartel rules for packaging, logistics companies, EU’s Vestager says

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Packaging and logistics companies may soon be able to cooperate on green projects without any fear of flouting cartel rules, EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said on Friday.

Under EU cartel rules, companies that collude to illegally fix prices or share markets can face fines up to 10% of their global turnover.

EU antitrust enforcers plan to provide guidance for packaging and logistics companies, Vestager said in the text of a speech to be delivered at an event in Helsinki.

“Consider an established market with some bad environmental habits – maybe to do with packaging or logistics. To break out of that rut, companies in that market might need to cooperate, in order to get to a better, more sustainable equilibrium,” she said.

“In such cases, the Commission want to provide legal certainty that they will not fall foul of the EU’s rules on cartels. All of this will be explained in a Commission communication, to be adopted very soon,” Vestager.

She will shortly adopt looser state aid rules to allow EU countries to subsidise energy, climate and environment projects in line with the European Commission’s goal of greening the bloc’s economy.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by David Holmes)