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EU Commission searches food retailers in France
The EU Commission has had two French grocers search buildings on suspicion of cartels. This was confirmed by the Brussels authority on Wednesday. There was concern that the two companies might have violated EU competition rules. These rules are intended to prevent price fixing so that consumers do not have to pay too much when shopping.
A Groupe Casino spokeswoman confirmed a "visit by European Commission investigators" to Paris and the headquarters of the German Press Agency in the eastern French city of Saint-Étienne. The company does not want to comment on the process, the spokeswoman said. According to its own information, the retailer operates around 9200 shops in France. The Commission had not previously disclosed which firms were involved. According to French media reports, the Intermarché chain will be affected in addition to Casino.
The EU Commission also stressed that the searches were only the first step of investigations and did not yet give any indication as to whether the companies had acted illegally. French investigators were involved in the raids on Monday. How long the investigation will take is open /vsr/DP/jha (dpa)