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Prominent online electronic retailers offices raided

A number of electronic retailers' offices have been raided by the EU antitrust officials, they said on Wednesday.

The companies raided are involved in the online sale of consumer electronics products, but the officials refused to name them.

The raids took place on 10 March and are a part of an investigation into possible anticompetitive agreements between between electronics retailers and manufacturers, a European Commission spokesman said in an email to PC World.

“The Commission has concerns that the companies concerned may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit anticompetitive agreements or concerted practices,” were his words.

These raids seem to be linked to the December 2013 raids on Samsung, Philips and Media-Saturn.

These companies refused to immediately comment on the issue.

PC World also contacted three other major electronics retailers, Dixons-Carphone, Darty and Euronics, and the staff reached at those companies said the investigation does not concern them.

The raids were based on the asumption that these companies have restricted online sales of consumer electronics products and small domestic appliances.

This could have led to higher prices of certain products.

Unannounced inspections are a preliminary step in investigations into suspected anticompetitive practices, PC World adds.

There is no legal deadline for these investigations to be completed. If a company is found to have participated in an anti-competitive agreement, it can be fined up to 10 per cent of its annual turnover.

Back in December 2013, Samsung, Philips and Media-Saturn were visited by government officials, and have then stated that they are fully cooperating with the authorities.