French antitrust authority Autorité de la Concurrence has started an investigation of major retail alliances in the industry.
The two major alliances include Auchan Retail, Casino Group, Metro and Schiever Group, Carrefour, and Système U.
According to the Article L. 462-10 of the French Commercial Code, any agreement between companies with one or more retail stores must be communicated to the Autorité at least two months before the implementation.
The two alliances were submitted to the competition authority on 18 May and 8 June and are assigned to the Investigation Services of the Autorité de la concurrence for investigation in compliance with the article.
Under the investigation, the authorities identified that both deals differ from the alliances made in 2015 due to their larger scope globally, while they offer nationally branded goods and store-branded products.
The French competition authority opened inquiries to further investigate the impact of these alliances on the concerned markets.
The Investigation Services will interrogate the suppliers concerned in these agreements as well as competitors.
European retailers Auchan, Casino, Metro, and Shiever formed an alliance to develop a new purchasing platform this month.
Called Horizon, the new purchasing platform is aimed at reducing transactional negotiations and introducing innovative, balanced negotiation types.
Carrefour and Système U signed a five-year partnership agreement to cooperate on purchasing national and international brands, as well as offering commitments in favour of French agricultural producers.
The investigation has also been extended to the purchase alliance between Carrefour and Tesco.
Tesco and Carrefour entered a long-term joint purchasing strategic alliance to cover the strategic relationship with global suppliers to purchase own-branded products and goods.