France cuts the “charcuterie cartel” and imposes a 93 million euro fine

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                Les autorités françaises ont versé 93 millions d'euros d'amendes à 12 entreprises pour avoir participé à une entente qui fixait les prix du jambon et de la charcuterie, dans les supermarchés et ont travaillé ensemble pour acheter des coupes moins chères.
            

Les sociétés ont été condamnées à payer les amendes pour collusion afin de fixer le prix de leurs produits porcins entre 2010 et 2013 par l'autorité antitrust française.

“Manufacturers worked together to buy cuts of ham at lower rates and agreed to set the price increases they planned to charge supermarkets,” the agency wrote in its statement.

The antitrust authority discovered secret meetings in hotels in Paris and Lyon as well as regular phone calls to coordinate price negotiations with slaughterhouses.

The 12 producers are well established on the market, notably brands such as Fleury Michon, Monique Ranou, Aoste or Jean Caby.

Campofrio Food and Coop are the two companies that disclosed the proceedings to the antitrust authority in exchange for a more lenient sentence.

Campofrio was fined one million euros while Coop received six million euros.

The biggest single fine, 35.5 million euros, went to Cooperl Arc Atlantique, the leading French pork producer, which has six charcuterie production sites.

Cooperl and Fleury Michon have said they will appeal the decision.

Cooperl added that the evidence against him is “manufactured” and submitted by its competitor. The company said the charges against its activities depended on only one piece of evidence – a notebook belonging to one of Campofrio’s directors.

The antitrust authority said it saw no reason to question the authenticity of the notebook.

            

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