EUROPEAN commission inspectors carried out surprise raids on a number of glass manufacturers across Europe last week as an investigation into price fixing was stepped up.
The raids were part of a long-running EC investigation into allegations that manufacturers colluded to operate as a cartel for the sale of flat glass for construction work and glass for the car industry.
The St Helens headquarters of UK giant Pilkington was among the plants raided.
The firm said: 'We are co-operating with the commission's inspections.'
French giant Saint Gobain's Vitrage headquarters were visited by the EC inspectors, who also raided another of the firm's flat glass factories at Aix-la-Chapelle.
The EC is investigating price fixing by the manufacturers and an alleged 'energy surcharge' put on orders for flat glass.They also visited Belgium-based Glaverbel.
Inspectors also raided unidentified plants in Germany and France, flat glass producers in Sweden and a car glass plant in Italy.