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EU raid on Red Bull headquarter

Search allegedly triggered by suspected violation of EU antitrust rules

EU antitrust authorities raided the premises of Red Bull the world's largest producer of energy drinks based in Salzburg, Austria. The raid, confirmed by Red Bull, was carried out on Monday on suspicion of violating EU rules, with the Commission expressing concern that the company may have violated antitrust rules prohibiting cartels and restrictive business practices, as well as suspicion of abusing its dominant position.

In a statement sent to some media outlets, Red Bull commented, "We will cooperate with lro (i.e., EU Commission officials, ed.) in any matter that may concern them. Any such matters are the responsibility of the EU Commission and any requests for further information should be directed to them". Companies that violate EU competition rules can be fined up to 10 percent of their total annual turnover.

On Tuesday, the Commission announced that it had carried out the investigation, without providing further information: the Austrian Federal Competition Authority, the Bwb, was apparently involved. The EU executive, in turn said, "Unannounced inspections are a preliminary step in an investigation into suspected anti-competitive practices. The fact that the Commission carries out such inspections does not mean that the company is guilty of anti-competitive behavior, nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself".

Red Bull, one of Austria's most valuable brands founded in 1984 by the late multibillionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, sold a record 11.6 billion bottles in 2022, earning the group about 9 billion euros in sales, up 23.9 percent from the previous year. About 16,000 people in 175 countries work for the group.

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EFA News - European Food Agency