Exclusive-Gucci Milan site inspected in EU antitrust inquiry
FILE PHOTO: A Gucci sign is seen outside a shop in Paris, France, January 27, 2023. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier
By Emilio Parodi and Foo Yun Chee
MILAN/BRUSSELS (Reuters) -European Union antitrust regulators have started inspecting a facility of luxury goods company Gucci as part of an EU investigation spanning several countries, Gucci’s French owner Kering (EPA:PRTP) said on Wednesday confirming a Reuters report.
“The group is fully cooperating with the (European) Commission in the context of this investigation,” Kering said in a statement.
Reuters had previously reported that Italian tax police and European Commission agents on Tuesday inspected a Gucci site in Milan connected with the manufacture of travel items, handbags and other leather goods, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.
Gucci and the European Commission declined to comment on Wednesday.
One of the sources said other fashion companies outside the Kering group had been targeted by similar inspections.
The European Commission said on Tuesday that antitrust regulators had raided companies in the fashion sector in several EU countries.
The Commission, which acts as the competition enforcer in the 27-country EU, did not name the companies or the countries, in line with its policy. It also sent requests for information to companies active in the same sector.
Companies found guilty of breaching EU rules face fines of as much as 10% of their global turnover.
The Commission said on Tuesday that the latest action was not related to other raids on the fashion industry in the past two years.
EU antitrust regulators said in January 2022 they were probing whether French fashion house Pierre Cardin’s licensing and distribution deals with German clothing maker Ahlers might breach European Union rules on online and cross-border sales.
A second investigation, disclosed in June 2022 following raids on some fashion companies the previous month, centred on a group of designers who had called for changes in sales periods and discounts, according to people familiar with the matter.