Ham. (illustration) - LOIC VENANCE / AFP
- The Competition Authority announced on Thursday that twelve companies had been sanctioned to the tune of 93 million euros for having formed a "cartel" in order to agree on the prices of ham and cured meats between 2010 and 2013.
- The strongest penalty (35.5 million euros) targets the French leader in pork production, the Cooperl cooperative.
- "The agreements concerned a large number of everyday consumer products (raw ham, cooked ham, sausages, rosette, chorizo, etc.)," said the French Competition Authority.
All fined. Twelve industrialists are sanctioned to the tune of 93 million euros in total for having formed a "cartel" in order to agree on the prices of ham and cured meats between 2010 and 2013, announced this Thursday the Competition Authority. "The manufacturers concerned were coordinating to buy cheaper pieces of ham from slaughterers and / or also agreed on the price increases for sausage products that they intended to practice with retail chains, for their brands of distributors, "said the Competition Authority in a press release.
The most sanctioned Cooperl cooperative
The strongest penalty (35.5 million euros) is aimed at the French leader in pork production, the Cooperl cooperative, which has six sites involved in the production of cured meats. This is followed by the distribution group Les Mousquetaires (Intermarché, Netto), which also manufactures products under its own brands such as Monique Ranou (31.7 million euros fine), and the Fleury Michon group (nearly 14.8 million fine).
"The agreements concerned a large number of everyday consumer products (raw ham, cooked ham, sausages, rosette, chorizo, etc.)", underlines the Competition Authority. Which notes: "The agreements implemented by the delicatessen manufacturers concerned both the relationships of the manufacturers with the slaughterers who supplied the raw material, but also the relationships with their customers in the mass distribution".
Two industrial groups asked for leniency
"By secretly exchanging on the positions to be adopted before their negotiations, the delicatessen manufacturers imposed a mode of organization which replaced the free play of competition and which removed from the interested parties any uncertainty about the behavior of their competitors", denounces l 'Authority. The practices uncovered "were notably revealed thanks to the leniency procedure, which allows companies that participated in a cartel to disclose their existence to the Authority and to obtain, under certain conditions, the benefit of a total or partial exemption from financial penalty ”, she specifies.
"In the present case, two groups, Campofrio and Coop, applied for leniency and provided materials for the investigation," it said. They were also sanctioned, up to one million and six million euros respectively.
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