European Union antitrust authorities on Monday said they have opened an investigation to assess whether two of France’s largest grocery chains coordinated in the market in breach of EU competition rules.
The European Commission, the bloc’s antitrust authority, said it is concerned that Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA CO, +1.19% (CO.FR) and Les Mousquetaires-owned Intermarche went beyond the purpose of a joint procurement alliance they formed in 2014 for their branded products.
The commission will investigate whether the two retailers coordinated the development of their store networks and pricing policy toward customers, it said.
The EU probe follows unannounced inspections by the commission at Casino and Intermarche’s premises in May this year and in 2017. It is part of the commission’s efforts to make sure grocery retail delivers benefits to customers, the EU regulator said.