The European Commission has announced that unannounced inspections were carried out at the premises of companies active in the ethylene purchasing sector on 16 May.
The Commission stated that the raids took place because it has concerns that companies in several member states may have violated EU antitrust laws that forbid cartels and restrictive business practices, under Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
Swiss specialty chemicals company Clariant confirmed in a statement that it is involved in the investigation. It said: “The company is assisting the relevant authorities and cannot comment further on the details.”
Reuters reported that Celanese said some of its units were being investigated.
Ethylene is commonly-used by cosmetics and personal care ingredients companies.
Polymers of ethylene glycol, for example, are used to fulfil various functions, including binding, emulsion stabilising and viscosity modification, in a wide variety of cosmetic products.