• Home
  • News
  • Business
  • EU dismisses case against fashion companies accused of ‘cartel’ practices

EU dismisses case against fashion companies accused of ‘cartel’ practices

By Rachel Douglass


Scroll down to read more


European flag. Credits: via Unsplash

Antitrust regulators for the European Union (EU) have reportedly scrapped an investigation into a group of fashion companies that it had raided over claims of “cartel practices”.

According to a report by the European Commission seen by Reuters, the dismissal of the two-year investigation was down to “priority reasons”.

The competition watchdog had initiated the move against several unnamed fashion firms in May 2022, citing at the time concerns of alleged cartel practices to fix prices, a process that would violate EU rules against restrictive business methods.

Following the launch, it was revealed that the raids had been carried out against a group of designers who had called for changes in sale periods and discounts in an open letter issued earlier in 2020.

Signatories of the letter requested to shift selling periods to the seasons they aligned to, as well as adjust the schedule of discounting to be at the end of the season to allow for more full-price selling.

The open letter had been signed by hundreds of fashion-based companies, including Dries Van Noten, Gabriela Hearst, Altuzarra and Thom Browne, among many others.

Now, however, it appears that the investigation has been put to a halt. At least for now.

A spokesperson for the commission told Reuters: "The closure is not a finding of compliance or non-compliance of the conduct in question with EU competition rules.

"The commission may open a new investigation into the same conduct, should new evidence emerge that would warrant further investigation."

European Commission