McDonald’s was hit with three major antitrust complaints Tuesday filed with authorities in France, Germany, and Italy, charging the fast-food giant with widespread abuse of its dominant market position throughout Europe.
The complaints outline McDonald’s systemic efforts to suppress competition through restrictive contracts that impose exorbitant rent costs on its franchisees, as well as rigid price fixing schemes that control resale prices at its franchised stores.
The complaints cite evidence showing that these anticompetitive practices ultimately harm consumers by significantly inflating prices at McDonald’s franchised stores across the three countries.
If found guilty, McDonald’s could face potentially severe penalties for the violations detailed in the complaints, including fines in each of the three countries ranging up to 10 percent of the company’s global revenue.
L’Usine Nouvelle (Reuters): http://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/plaintes-en-europe-sur-les-pratiques-de-franchise-de-mcdonald-s.N523499
La Tribune (AFP and Reuters) http://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/agroalimentaire-biens-de-consommation-luxe/mcdonald-s-accuse-de-manipulation-des-prix-devant-plusieurs-autorites-de-la-concurrence-en-europe-679160.html
Wirtschafts Woche (Reuters): http://www.wiwo.de/unternehmen/dienstleister/streit-um-preise-mcdonalds-droht-aerger-in-europa/19615866.html
Austria and Switzerland:
Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Reuters DE)
De Standaard: http://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20170405_02818377