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Shortage of bottle makers threatens wine and spirit importers

Published:  23 July, 2008

BRUSSELS: Wine and spirit importers call for EC intervention over shortage of bottles.

The European Commission said it has received a complaint from EU wine and spirit importers and distributors against bottle-makers, including Saint-Gobain.

"I can confirm commissioner Neelie Kroes did receive a letter on August 28, and the letter will now be passed onto legal services of the competition department, and we will have a close look at the allegations which are made in the letter," a commission spokesman said.

EU wine and spirit importers and distributors have written to Kroes seeking her "urgent intervention" over the shortage of bottles.

Due to restructuring, the number of bottle-makers supplying the European market has shrunk to three from 60, namely Saint-Gobain, Owens-Illinois INC and Ireland's Ardagh Glass. The three companies control 95% of the European market.