Fleury Michon, pinned among twelve manufacturers of ham and cold meats for price agreements between 2010 and 2013, was sanctioned “up to 100,000 euros” for having “obstructed the progress of the investigation” carried out by the ‘Competition Authority, said the latter on Monday.
Fleury Michon had been inflicted a penalty of nearly 14.8 million euros in the context of this so-called “ham cartel” affair, which resulted in a total of 93 million euros in sanctions against numerous manufacturers, including the French leader in pork production, the Cooperl cooperative, or the distribution group Les Musketeers (Intermarché, Netto). This sanction pronounced in July 2020 is the subject of an appeal.
In the context of this case, Fleury Michon “did not inform the investigation services of an internal restructuring operation and the cancellation of the company Fleury Michon Charcuterie, one of the authors of the practices, to whom the grievances had been addressed ”, details the Competition Authority in a press release.
The group, which requested and obtained to benefit from the transaction procedure, could thus have prevented the services of the Authority “from identifying and monitoring with precision the development of legal persons to whom it was appropriate to impute and notify grievances ”.
This announcement comes a few weeks after the Constitutional Council ruled unconstitutional an article of law (L. 464-2) allowing the Competition Authority to impose a significant fine (up to 1% of its turnover). worldwide) to a company that obstructed its investigations, arguing that another article of the Commercial Code, L. 450-8, already provided for it.
The Competition Authority explains Monday that the decision of the Constitutional Council applied to provisions which “in their contested wording, are no longer in force”, because modified by a new law in December 2020. In addition Fleury Michon “Had not previously been the subject of prosecution on the basis of Article L. 450-8 of the Commercial Code”, she explains. “Consequently, the company in question could be sanctioned on the basis of article L. 464-2 of the commercial code”.
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