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Casino & Intermarché Escape EU Probe After CJEU Rules Against Regulator

 |  March 9, 2023

On Thursday Casino & Intermarche won the backing of Europe’s top court in their fight against EU antitrust regulators’ dawn raids.

The European Commission had accused the companies of breaking EU rules by creating a buying alliance that allowed them to negotiate better deals with suppliers and pass on the savings to consumers. But the Court of Justice said the Commission had not provided “sufficient proof” that the companies had breached antitrust rules.

In 2017, the European Commission requested that certain companies submit to an inspection due to alleged anti-competitive practices regarding a 2014 purchasing alliance. Following an investigation, the agreement was left terminated by 2018.

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The CJEU also criticized the competition agency for not recording interviews with the companies suppliers.

“That obligation applies irrespective of whether the interview in question was conducted before the formal opening of an investigation, in order to collect indicia of an infringement, or afterward, for the purpose of collecting evidence of an infringement,” the court said.