Disciplinary proceedings against six Spanish turron-making firms have begun on alleged anti-competitive practices.

The Spanish National Markets and Competition Commission launched an initial investigation last November into Delaviuda Food, Almendra y Miele, Sanchis Mira, Turrones Pico and Enrique Garrigos Monerris.

The watchdog has now discovered what it called "reasonable indications of the existence of conduct prohibited by the country's competition protection law no.15/2007".

It has now started disciplinary proceedings against the five plus one other - Turrones Jose Garrigos.

The six companies are being investigated for "possible practices consisting of price fixing, directly or indirectly, or other trademarks and service conditions, as well as the exchange of commercially sensitive information in the Spanish market".

If found guilty, the accused could face fines of up to 10% of their total turnover.

The competition watchdog has a timeframe of 18 months to investigate and resolve the case.

The six companies named did not respond to requests for comment when approached by just-food.

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 The CNMC initiate disciplinary proceedings against six companies for possible anticompetitive practices in the market nougat.Given certain information regarding possible anticompetitive conduct in the supply of candies by the manufacturers of these products, the Competition Directorate of the National Commission on Financial Markets and Competition (CNMC) initiated a confidential in order to determine whether circumstances which would justify the opening of disciplinary proceedings.

Under such undisclosed, on 5 and 6 November, 2013 inspections were conducted at the headquarters of Delaviuda FOOD, SA, ALMOND and HONEY, SA, SANCHÍS MIRA, SA, TURRONES PICÓ, SA and ENRIQUE GARRIGÓS MONERRIS, SA

As a result of such investigations have been observed prima facie evidence of the existence of conduct prohibited by Law 15/2007 of 3 July, on Competition (LDC), which has initiated disciplinary proceedings against companies Delaviuda FOOD , SA, and ALMOND HONEY, SA, SANCHÍS MIRA, SA, TURRONES PICÓ, SA, ENRIQUE GARRIGÓS MONERRIS, SA and TURRONES GARRIGOS JOSE, SA, for possible anticompetitive practices consisting of price fixing, directly or indirectly, or other trademarks and service conditions, as well as the exchange of commercially sensitive information in the Spanish market, prohibited by Article 1 of the LDC.

This is regarded as a very serious offense, which could result in a fine of up to 10% of the total turnover of the infringing entities immediately before the imposition of the penalty period.

The investigation of cartels is a priority for action by the CNMC, especially given the severity of their impact on consumers and the proper functioning of markets. To this end it has, among others, the leniency program that allows benefiting businesses to provide evidence that will enable the CNMC detection or checking the existence of a cartel

It starts from now a maximum period of 18 months for the investigation of the case and its resolution by the CNMC, without the opening of these proceedings prejudge the final outcome of the investigation.  

Original source: CNMC