An investigation was opened by the Competition Authority against several car rental companies suspected of engaging in anti-competitive practices to inflate their rates at railway stations or airports, are we learned Friday corroborating sources.
The competition watchdog sent the renters a “statement of objections”, “blaming them certain practices likely to be non-compliant with French regulations,” said in a financial document the one of the groups concerned, Europcar, the number one car rental.
This notification addressed “17 February 2015″, is likely to expose the group “at risk of fine the amount could be significant, “adds Europcar in this document filed Wednesday with the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), as part of the IPO of the company.
The number of . precise Car Rental have provisioned € 45 million in view of a possible fine
According to Le Figaro, which revealed information, six rental companies are under investigation: Europcar Avis Budget, Hertz, Citer, Sixt and Ada. They are suspected of colluding on a tariff surcharge in stations and have exchanged information on their business practices at airports.
The first, concerning the overload in railway stations, A period from 2005 to 2008. According to a source close to the case, it is the largest component of the survey.
The flap on airport dates back to 2003-2008, as the Europcar financial document. The “exchange of information” would have occurred in a dozen French airports, including Roissy and Orly.
In 2008, “several searches” were conducted by Directorate officials General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), told AFP a source close to the case.
In a statement sent to AFP, said Europcar contest “grievances formally notified to it,” adding defend “strongly this position with the Competition Authority.”
The general director of Ada, Christophe Plovenez, ensured his side AFP that his company was concerned “by one of the two parts, that of airports.”
The exchange of information to companies accused “was not about price, but “hirers turnovers in airports”. “It is through questionnaires sent by airports that such information has been exchanged. We did never spoken, “he assured.
When contacted by AFP, the Competition Authority declined to comment.
Many cartels were pinned in recent months by the Competition Authority for anti-competitive practices including in the food sector.
On 12 March, the competition watchdog has condemned 11 dairy groups whose Senagral, Novandis (Andros) and Lactalis, fines of a total of € 192.7 million for price fixing and tenders on fresh dairy distributor brands.
6 May 21 the industrial poultry sector which LDC (Rented, … Le Gaulois), Duke and Gastronomy, and two trade associations, were convicted of an agreement scooping a total fine of 15.2 million euros .
The European leader in car rental Europcar, which on Thursday launched the first stage of its IPO, hopes to raise € 475 million during this operation.
vab / cb / sd
05/22/2015 4:54:28 p.m. – Paris, May 22, 2015 (AFP) – AFP © 2015