PARIS — The world’s four largest fragrance and flavors suppliers — Firmenich, Givaudan, Symrise and IFF — have confirmed that they are part of an investigation into possible collusion by the European Commission.
As previously reported, the EC said it carried out this week unannounced inspections of the premises of companies and one association active in the fragrance industry in numerous member states. It is trying to find if there’s any collusion linked to the supply of fragrance and fragrance ingredients.
The commission did not release names of companies under investigation, but the four suppliers have confirmed they were part of the raid.
“Firmenich, the world’s largest privately owned perfume and taste company, confirms that on March 7, 2023, certain competition authorities commenced an industry-wide investigation into the fragrances sector,” the Swiss group said in a statement. “As part thereof, unannounced inspections were carried out at its offices in France, Switzerland and the U.K.”
Firmenich said it’s closely monitoring the situation and fully cooperating with the investigation.
IFF, with offices in Europe, also said in a statement: “We are working closely with the relavent authorities and cooperating with their industry investigation.”
Symrise in a statement said on March 7, European Union cartel authorities contacted the company’s headquarters of Holzminden, Germany, and that it is with Swiss, British and U.S. authorities investigating “possible inadmissible agreements in the fragrance and fragrance ingredients sector. These investigations are taking place in parallel at all leading companies in the industry. Symrise is cooperating fully with the authorities.”
Givaudan confirmed, as well, that it is part of the industry-wide investigation.
“As a good corporate citizen, Givaudan is fully cooperating with the authorities,” it said in a statement.
As previously reported, the EC had said in its statement: “The inspection and requests for information concern possible collusion in relation to supply of fragrances and fragrance ingredients.”
The commission underlined that announced inspections are the first step into investigating anticompetitive practices. It said such inspections being carried out doesn’t mean companies are guilty and that they do not prejudge the investigation’s outcome.