ANTITRUST INVESTIGATORS from the European Commission (EC) have descended upon internet service providers in a series of surprise raids.
According to a statement put out by the EC the raids were conducted this week and took the unsuspecting premises by surprise.
"The European Commission can confirm that on 9 July 2013 commission officials initiated unannounced inspections at the premises of a number of telecommunications companies active in the provision of internet connectivity in several member states," it said.
"The commission has concerns that the companies concerned may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit the abuse of a dominant market position."
We do not know what companies were raided, nor the precise purposes of the raids. The EC said that a few companies in a number of countries were raided but added that this did not mean that they are guilty of anything other than being under suspicion.
"Internet players interconnect with each other through a combination of wholesale services to cover all possible internet destinations. Internet connectivity allows market players to connect to the internet so as to be able to provide their services or products at the retail level. This service is crucial for the functioning of the internet and for end users' ability to reach internet content with the necessary quality of service, irrespective of the location of the provider," added the EC.
"Unannounced inspections are a preliminary step into [investigating] suspected anticompetitive practices. The fact that the commission carries out such inspections does not mean that the companies are guilty of anticompetitive behaviour nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself." µ