The European Commission has closed its investigation into the brewers Carlsberg and Heineken over an alleged market-sharing agreement.

The Commission had suspected the two companies of attempting to limit activity, in particular through acquisitions, in each others' home markets between 1993 and 1996.

However, in a statement today, Commission said the procedure had been halted because it found no evidence that the suspected infringement continued after May 1995.

Under EU rules, the Commission cannot fine companies for infringements for which it has no evidence that they continued in the five years preceding the start of its investigation, which in this case was 2000.