Italy's competition watchdog has launched a probe into alleged price-fixing among the country's pasta manufacturers.

The regulator, the Autorita' Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, said it would study the companies' activities to see if any uncompetitive practice had taken place.

The investigation will look to determine whether members of the Union of Pasta Makers colluded to fix the price of spaghetti and other pasta.

Last month, Italian consumer groups urged shoppers to boycott pasta for one day following price rises.

Manufacturers have argued that the price of pasta has been forced up by higher commodity costs.