Lafarge SA and Vicat SA have been fined a total EUR25m by the French competition regulator over their supply deals in Corsica, the regulator Conseil de la Concurrence said Monday.
The Conseil de la Concurrence said in a statement that it has fined Lafarge EUR17m and Vicat EUR8m for preventing competition on the island in the late 1990s.
The regulator said the two companies reached deals with local Corsican cement retailers between 1997 and 1999 to secure the entire island’s cement supply contracts and prevent imports from Italy and Greece.
There is no cement plant in Corsica and all cement needs to be imported by ship, the regulator added.
The regulator said the deals that Lafarge and Vicat entered into with Corsican retailers prevented proper competition on the island, in spite of Italian and Greek cement makers’ prices being on average 20% lower.
In a statement, Lafarge said that the regulator’s decision was unfounded and that it will appeal the decision at the Paris Court of Appeal.
"Fundamentally speaking, Lafarge is convinced it respected the law while helping the cement supply to Corsica to go on in good conditions after the end of (public) subsidies," the company said.