€15 million in fines for French poultry sector
The French competition authority l’Autorité de la Concurrence has imposed fines totalling of €15 million on a number of companies and organisations in the French poultry sector for conspiracy on pricing and market shares.
According to the Autorité, the French association of poultry processors Fédération des Industries Avicoles and 17 companies and organisations including DUC and LDC did make illegal arrangements between the years 2000 and 2007. They held a large number of meetings to discuss the prices to charges their customers as well as other business details. Main purpose was to get a stronger position in the price negotiations with the larger supermarkets, an annual ritual in France.
The Autorité took into consideration the integrated nature of the whole poultry chain and the important role feed plays in the financial outcome. Because of the very specific circumstances in this case, the authority concludes that it would be better to set up a sector organisation within the rules of the law as soon as possible then to hit the sector with huge fines. In normal cases, competition authorities can impose fines of up to 10% of the turnover of the companies involved.
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