France’s competition regulator has launched an investigation into the strategic alliance between Tesco and French retailer Carrefour.
The Autorite de la Concurrence has said it is investigating whether the three-year deal between the two large retailers could threaten competition rules.
Tesco and Carrefour announced earlier this month their intention to enter into a strategic supply partnership. The alliance would see both companies jointly purchase own-label goods and products not for resale as a way to negotiate better deals with suppliers.
The French competition authority said it would look into the impact of the retail giants’ purchasing agreement and assess how it could affect suppliers, including those used by Booker, as well as consumers in the food sector.
Affected suppliers and supermarket competitors are expected to be interviewed as part of the probe.
A spokeswoman for Tesco said: “We will co-operate fully with the French competition authority investigation. We remain committed to finalising our alliance with Carrefour in the coming months given the benefits it will bring for our customers and suppliers.”
The investigation could result in Tesco and Carrefour having to change the terms of their agreement, which may impact Booker retailers who are supplied by Tesco.
The Autorite de la Concurrence is also investigating similar strategic alliances between France’s Auchan, Casino, Schiever and Germany’s Metro as well as Carrefour’s deal with Systeme U.