Kuehne + Nagel responds to French Competition Authority

Kuehne + Nagel, owner of the Alloin Group, which was fined heavily by the French competition authorities last week, has released a statement in response to the report that found it had been colluding with other delivery companies in price fixing and fuel surcharges.

Kuehne + Nagel commented: “Regarding the fine of EUR 32 million for the Alloin Group, approximately EUR 31 million are attributable to the time before the acquisition of the Alloin Group by Kuehne + Nagel.

“Kuehne + Nagel dissociates itself from such business practises, has a comprehensive compliance programme in place, which is continuously improving, and has been cooperating with the French Competition Authority since 2010.

“Kuehne + Nagel is reviewing all options, including an appeal against the decision as well as a recourse against the sellers.”

Kuehne + Nagel bought Alloin Group in 2009. Alloin Group was one of the delivery companies that had been found to be acting against national competition law earlier this week, where a large number of major delivery companies including Royal Mail were fined heavily for colluding in setting prices and warping the delivery market in France over a number of years.

Alloin Group were relatively small players in the anticompetitive meetings that are said to have taken place for several years. However the fines have been large and signalling that the French authorities don’t take collusion and cartel activities lightly. If the parent company does appeal then it will be in the company of very large players in the scam, including La Poste, Deutsche Post and Royal Mail. None of the others have responded to the report as yet and it will be interesting to see their position in this regard.