The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) has opened an investigation into anti-competitive practices by domestic glass bottle makers.
According to the Authority, Berlin Packaging Italy, Bormioli Luigi, O-I Italy, Verallia Italia, Vetreria Cooperativa Piegarese, Vetreria Etrusca, Vetri Speciali, Vetropack Italia and Zignago Vetro agreed to define the price increases of glass wine bottles.
Following some complaints, one of which was received through its whistleblowing platform, the Italian Competition Authority has initiated an investigation against the above glass manufacturers for allegedly making an anti-competitive agreement for the sale of glass bottles.
According to the Authority, at least since 2022, the companies have agreed to request similar price increases for glass bottles from their customers over the same period of time.
This circumstance could be the result of an agreement or an agreed practice to avoid competition between the main operators in the sector.
With the help of the Special Antitrust Unit of the Italian Financial Police (Guardia di Finanza), the Authority officials carried out inspections at the main offices of the companies and other entities deemed to be in possession of elements that could be useful to the investigation, including Assovetro, the national association of glass industries.
Verallia said it had provided all requested information and was fully co-operating with the Authority in the course of its investigation.
In a statement on its website, Verallia said: “Compliance with regulation and business ethics is at the cornerstone of Verallia’s values.
“The group denies any inappropriate behaviour and is confident that it will clarify the legitimacy of its position in relation to this investigation, the opening of which does not imply any finding of wrongdoing.”
Zignago Vetro said that it has always operated in full compliance with the rules and regulations governing competition law.
"We are therefore confident that the investigation that has been launched, in terms of which we are actively collaborating with the AGCM, will prove the complete correctness of Zignago Vetro's conduct, which has been shaped by the very significant and across-the-board increases in the costs of all production factors - particularly of energy and raw materials."
Perfumery and tableware glass manufacturer Bormioli Luigi said it did not operate in the wine bottle sector.
"The company therefore confirms that it is completely unrelated to any wrongdoing and makes known its full willingness to cooperate with the AGCM during the investigation in order to provide all necessary information and documentation aimed at clarifying its position, confirming that it has always operated in compliance with current regulations, promoting fair competition in the market."
It added it reserves the right, in any case, to take any appropriate legal action to protect its image before the courts.