French competition authority probing retail deals

France’s Competition Authority said Monday that it has opened an inquiry to assess the impact of a series of purchasing agreements between major retailers on consumers and suppliers.

The investigation concerns an alliance between Auchan SA, Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA (CO.FR), Metro AG (B4B.XE) and Schiever, and a separate agreement between Carrefour SA (CA.FR) and Systeme U, the authority said.

A later alliance between Carrefour and British grocer Tesco PLC (TSCO.LN) will also be included in the inquiry, according to the Competition Authority.

The recent deals are greater in scope than a set of similar agreements reached in 2015 as they include internationally produced goods and store-brand products, rather than just local names, the regulator said.

Casino said it always sought to be respectful of striking a balance in its relations with suppliers and said that its Horizon Alliance had made several commitments based on the General French Food Convention.

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