The European Commission carried out "unannounced inspections" at several top flavor and fragrance companies on March 7, 2023 regarding "possible collusion in relation to the supply of fragrances and fragrance ingredients."
The organization notes that the targeted organizations "may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices" under Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
The inspections "are a preliminary investigatory step into suspected anticompetitive practices" but do not "mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behavior nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself."
The Commission has collaborated with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority and the Swiss Competition Commission regarding these inspections.
Per Reuters, Givaudan has confirmed it is among the companies that has been inspected.
Symrise has also confirmed its involvement, noting, "Symrise is cooperating fully with the authorities. At present, precise details and concrete content on this investigation are still pending."
In addition, Firmenich announced, "Firmenich is closely monitoring the situation and is fully cooperating with the investigators."
Bloomberg has confirmed that IFF is also among the companies under investigation.