France fines express operators €672m

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Twenty express logistics companies have been fined a total of more than €672 million (£490m) by the French Competition Authority for price fixing between 2004 and 2010.

The largest fine was for Geodis at €196m, while Chronopost was fined €99m. Other companies fined include:

DHL Express France: €81m

TNT Express France: €58m

GLS France (Royal Mail): €55m

DPD France: €45m

Dachser France: €33m

Gefco: €31m

The competition authority (Autorité de la Concurrence) said the companies had agreed on annual price increases at meetings which took place at the TLF trade association between September 2004 and September 2010.

The companies involved are: Alloin, BMVirolle, Chronopost, Exapaq (now DPD France) Ciblex France, Dachser France, DHL Express France, FedEx Express France, Gefco, Geodis, GLS France, Heppner, Lambert et Vallette, XP France, Norbert Dentressangle Distribution, Normatrans, Jewel-Schenker (now Schenker France), TNT Express France, Transport Henri Ducros, Ziegler France.

Kuehne + Nagel acquired the Alloin Group in 2009. In a statement K+N said: “Regarding the fine of €32 million for the Alloin Group, approximately €31m are attributable to the time before the acquisition of the Alloin Group by Kuehne + Nagel.

“Kuehne + Nagel dissociates itself from such business practises, has a comprehensive compliance programme in place, which is continuously improving, and has been cooperating with the French Competition Authority since 2010. Kuehne + Nagel is reviewing all options, including an appeal against the decision as well as a recourse against the sellers.”

Royal Mail has also issued a statement saying that by agreeing not to contest the allegations and provide compliance commitments, Royal Mail has benefited from a reduction in the French competition authority’s fine to €55.1 million (£40.2 million).

TNT said it had co-operated with the investigation since it started in 2010. “During the third quarter of 2014, TNT entered into a settlement agreement with the FCA and booked a provision of €50 million in relation to this matter. TNT will review the merits of the decision.”

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