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Antitrust: Commission opens proceedings against companies in French water sector

27 January 2012
Water Drop
The European Commission has opened formal antitrust proceedings to investigate whether the French companies SAUR, Suez Environnement/Lyonnaise des Eaux and Veolia, together with their trade association Fédération Professionnelle des Entreprises de l'Eau ("FP2E"), have coordinated their behaviour on French water and waste water markets, in breach of EU antitrust rules. The opening of proceedings means that the Commission will treat the case as a matter of priority. It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.

The Commission will examine whether the undertakings concerned have coordinated their behaviour in markets for water and waste water services in France, in particular with respect to elements of the price invoiced to final consumers, contrary to Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The provision of these services is contracted out by local authorities to private companies.

The duration of antitrust investigations depends on a number of factors, including the complexity of each case, the extent to which the undertakings concerned cooperate with the Commission and the exercise of the rights of defence.

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