Romania’s Competition Council sanctioned French retailers Auchan, Carrefour and Cora and four of their suppliers with total fines worth RON 87.7 million (EUR 18.8 million) for price fixing.
The competition watchdog found that, between 2010 and 2016, the three retailers negotiated fixed or minimum prices with their suppliers Quadrant-Amroq Beverages (Pepsi), Star Foods, Strauss Romania and Nelson Prod, breaching both national and European competition rules and affecting local consumers.
Auchan Romania received the biggest fine, of EUR 7.84 million, followed by Carrefour – EUR 5.79 million and Cora – EUR 2.66 million. The Competition Council mentioned that Carrefour admitted the deeds and received a lower fine.
Quadrant Amroq Beverages, the local Pepsi producer, was fined EUR 1.28 million, and Star Foods – 0.84 million. The sanctioned companies can challenge the fines in court within 30 days.
This is the second investigation the Competition Council has carried on this market in recent years. In 2015, it sanctioned retailer Metro, Real, Selgros and Mega Image and their suppliers with total fines worth some EUR 35 million for fixing prices. Some of the companies have challenged the fines and the lawsuits are currently ongoing.
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