(Adds comment from Casino)
PARIS Feb 28 The French government said on
Tuesday it had filed a lawsuit against retail group Casino
over what it described as illegal commercial practices
with some of its suppliers.
The Economy Ministry said it would seek a fine and a court
order obliging the company to repay sums of money that it says
were illegally received.
Casino said in a statement its practices were legal and that
it would contest the lawsuit before relevant courts.
The Ministry said Casino had forced suppliers to give it
favourable terms outside of usual annual contracts.
"These practices, which are illegal, may put the economic
equilibrium of the supply chain at risk ... with possible
consequences on jobs or, eventually, on the diversity of
products on offer," the Ministry said.
Casino said in its statement the lawsuit related to a series
of "credits" sent in 2013 and 2014 by 41 suppliers. "i.e. less
than 1 percent of the group's total number of suppliers - and
adds up to a total amount of 20.7 million euros ($21.95
million)," the company said.
The French government had said in November it was suing
retail group Carrefour in a separate case.
($1 = 0.9430 euros)
(Reporting by Matthias Blamont. Editing by Jane Merriman)