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The European Commission has initiated unannounced raids on leading tire manufacturers, including Pirelli, Continental, Michelin, and Nokian Tyres, across several EU member states as part of an antitrust investigation. These inspections, reported on January 30, are investigating potential violations of EU antitrust rules—specifically, allegations of a price-fixing cartel within the tire industry, focusing on new replacement tires for passenger cars, vans, trucks, and buses sold in the European Economic Area, which includes EU countries as well as Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.

This investigative action by the Commission is a preliminary step in identifying anti-competitive practices and does not presuppose guilt or the eventual outcome of the investigation. The duration of these investigations is not fixed and depends on factors such as case complexity, the level of cooperation from the involved companies, and the exercise of defense rights by the companies.

The targeted companies have responded, with Pirelli affirming their compliance with regulations and pledging full support to the investigation. Similarly, Continental and Michelin have acknowledged the investigations and emphasized their adherence to competition laws. Nokian Tyres also confirmed that their headquarters in Finland were inspected, and they are cooperating with the authorities.

Shares of the companies involved experienced significant declines following the news of the raids: Pirelli shares fell as much as 3.8%, Michelin shares dropped by 2.9%, and Continental saw a decrease of 3.5%. This series of inspections is part of the Commission’s broader efforts to regulate anti-competitive practices within the automotive sector. In previous years, the Commission has imposed hefty fines on various cartels in the industry, including a record €2.93 billion fine in 2016 against truck manufacturers such as MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco, and DAF for colluding on truck pricing and the costs of compliance with emission standards over a 14-year period.

If found guilty of breaching EU antitrust rules, the implicated tire companies could face fines up to 10% of their annual global turnover, reflecting the severity of such violations.

Key takeaways

  • The European Commission has launched surprise inspections on tire manufacturers like Pirelli, Continental, Michelin, and Nokian Tyres across the EU, suspecting involvement in a price-fixing cartel.
  • The investigation targets replacement tires for vehicles sold in the European Economic Area, focusing on compliance with EU antitrust rules, potentially leading to fines up to 10% of global turnover.
  • Historical context shows rigorous EU actions against automotive cartels, including a €2.93 billion fine in 2016 against major truck manufacturers for similar antitrust violations.
  • Whether you were affected or are just exploring options you can check your eligibility for compensation.


  1. Press corner [Internet]. European Commission – European Commission. Available from: citation
  2. Andrew, Bogie A. Pirelli confirms EC antitrust inspectors visit [Internet]. Tyrepress. 2024. Available from:
  3. Bloomberg. Tire Firms Hit by EU Raids Over Suspected Price-Fixing Plot [Internet]. 2024. Available from:
  4. Reuters [internet]. Pirelli, Continental, Michelin and Nokian targeted in EU raids. Available from:


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