Tobacco under scrutiny

    Spain’s anti-trust watchdog is investigating tobacco companies for alleged non-competitive practices in the manufacturing, distribution and commercialization of their products in the country, according to a Reuters story quoting the watchdog.

    Altadis, British American Tobacco Espana, Compania de Distribucion Integral Logista, JT International Iberia, and Philip Morris Spain were all being looked at as part of the investigation, the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) said.

    The CNMC made surprise inspections of the companies’ offices in February and March.

    The investigation could take up to 18 months to be fully resolved, the CNMC said.

    If the CNMC finds the companies have been colluding, it could levy fines of up to 10 percent of their revenues in the year proceeding the ruling.

    PM and the Imperial Brands’ affiliates, Altadis and Logista were quoted as saying that they were co-operating with the investigation.

    BAT and JT International were said to have been not immediately available for comment.