Monster Beverage Corp. has reportedly accused Red Bull of anti-competitive tactics.

The accusation follows raids by European Commission inspectors on Red Bull premises across Europe.

The competition authority is investigating whether Red Bull has broken EU anti-trust rules and abused its market position.

In an email to Reuters, Monster said the company “believes it has been the subject of Red Bull’s anti-competitive tactics. We are therefore not surprised by the Commission’s decision to commence an investigation into Red Bull in multiple Member States under Articles 101 and 102. Monster Energy supports the Commission’s inquiries”.

Just Drinks has approached Monster and Red Bull for comment.

In a statement issued last week, the Commission said it had “concerns that the inspected company may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices”.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData

While the EU Commission did not name Red Bull as the company involved, the Austrian Federal Competition Authority confirmed to Just Drinks it conducted dawn raids on Red Bull properties with Commission inspectors.

Last week, a spokesperson for Red Bull told Just Drinks: “Officials of the EU Commission visited our premises on Monday 20 March. We will cooperate with them in any matters that may concern them. Any such matter is for the EU Commission and any requests for further information should be directed to them.”

If wrongdoing is proven, the fines are not insignificant, as a breach of antitrust regulations can lead to the EU Commission fining a group as much as 10% of its global turnover.

However, the Commission will take into account if a company has admitted it violated anti-trust laws and offer reduced fines for cooperation. In some cases, it can grant immunity if actions help to uncover restrictive business practices or the operation of secret cartels.

Red Bull’s co-founder and owner Dietrich Mateschitz died at the age of 78 last October. Following his death, his 49% stake in the privately owned Red Bull passed to his son, Mark Mateschitz. The Thai Yoovidhya family of Red Bull’s second co-founder holds a portion of the company’s shares.