The European Competition Authority has sanctioned three petfood companies for restricting competition in France between 2004 and 2008 of the sale of dry dog and cat food in specialty stores (pet shops, garden centres, farmers shops, hardware stores), and among breeders and veterinarians.
Nestle Purina PetCare France (Nestlé), Royal Canin (Mars Incorporated Group) and Hill's Pet Nutrition (Colgate Palmolive Group) were fined for respectively €19.04 million, €11.62 million and €4.66 million.
These three actors in that period were responsible for over 70% of dry dog and cat foods in the specialized distribution channel.
"Nestle Purina PetCare France and Royal Canin, who did not dispute the facts, agreed with their wholesalers to restrict competition," said the Authority, through resale price maintenance, territorial restraints and an accumulation of exclusivity clauses.
It also criticized Hill's Pet Nutrition in forbidding exports of its products outside France.
All three companies received a lower fine by not contesting the facts.
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