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Oxera’s winning advice to LDC results in a landmark French cartel decision

Oxera advised LDC, the largest poultry supplier in France, during the entire process of determining proposed cartel fines. The decision by the French Competition Authority was an important victory for LDC and the other cartel members, since the fines amounted to €15.2m (compared, for example, with €192.7m in the fresh dairy product cartel case of March 2015).

The Authority decided that damage to the economy was limited, with a number of market factors put forward in Oxera’s report and in the lawyers’ supporting arguments. In particular, we showed that elasticity of demand was high, buyer power was strong, and that the practices of the organisations did not lead to price increases. Oxera analyses used LDC’s own private data as well as public data from INSEE.
The decision departs from the standard approach to fine-setting, primarily due to a ground-breaking remedy that the companies have agreed to, which sees the creation of an industry-wide association of suppliers and distributors.