(Adds comment from Casino)
PARIS, Feb 28 (Reuters) - 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