The French Competition Authority has dismissed its investigation into possible anti-competitive practices by tobacco companies British American Tobacco (BAT), Seita, Japan Tobacco International (ITJ) Philip Morris et Logista, she announced Monday.
At the end of January, the Authority carried out unannounced searches of companies " alleged to have engaged in anti-competitive practices in the production, import and distribution of tobacco products". " After examining the seized documents, the investigating authorities decided to close the proceedings", Says the organization in a statement.
The four groups that were targeted by the Competition Authority's investigators are tobacco market juggernauts: BAT markets the brands Lucky Strike and Pall Mall, while the Seita sells Gitanes and Gauloises, JTI brands like Camel or Winston, and Philip Morris Marlboro or Chesterfield. Logista France, supplier of almost all tobacconists, was also targeted.
In a statement, BAT France, the first tobacco company to react, said " take note The result of the discontinuation of this procedure, recalling that always respected the rules of competition in the context of its activities". In a statement sent to AFP, the President of JTI France, Yves Barbier, meanwhile, " Congratulations to the decision of the Competition Authority which confirms that we operate in compliance with the rules of law in force and which shows once again that the allegations made by anti-smoking associations are unfounded".
As for the Seita (French subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco, ed), she told AFP that its leaders took "good note" of the decision and did not want to make any other comment. Logista France, finally, « welcomes this decision Which, according to her, proves her strict compliance with the rules of law in force", She reacted in a statement to AFP.
source : Boursorama