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Easier cartel rules for packaging, logistics companies, EU’s Vestager says

Packaging and logistics companies may soon be able to cooperate on green projects without any fear of flouting cartel rules, EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said on Friday.

Under EU cartel rules, companies that collude to illegally fix prices or share markets can face fines up to 10% of their global turnover.

Vestager made the comments during an event in Helsinki.

“Consider an established market with some bad environmental habits – maybe to do with packaging or logistics. To break out of that rut, companies in that market might need to cooperate, in order to get to a better, more sustainable equilibrium,” she said.

“In such cases, the Commission want to provide legal certainty that they will not fall foul of the EU’s rules on cartels,” Vestager said.

Vestager said she would adopt a communication soon on the ongoing reviews and updates of various competition rules.

A Commission spokesperson said the EU antitrust chief will give guidance on EU competition policy tentatively scheduled for Nov. 17.

Vestager will shortly adopt looser state aid rules to allow EU countries to subsidise energy, climate and environment projects in line with the European Commission’s goal of greening the bloc’s economy.