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French Police Raid Schneider, Rexel, Sonepar, Legrand

According to a number of sources, including Reuters, French police and the French Anti-Corruption Agency conducted a raid on the offices of Schneider Electric, Rexel, Sonepar, and Legrand during a sweep on September 6.  Reports say at least 12 searches were performed during the raids on the companies.

Reports say the companies are accused of cartel pricing, forgery, breach of trust, misuse of corporate assets, tax fraud and bribery of public officials.  Other sources are claiming there are reports of a secret deal between the four companies to raise prices by limiting competition.

Schneider did release a statement saying, “We have been solicited by the judicial authorities.  We have welcomed them to our premises and are working with them and we will not make any other comments.”  The other three companies have not commented on the raids.

If the companies are found guilty, they could be fined hundreds of millions of Euros.

Back in 2007, Schneider was involved in a similar situation that included Siemens, Mitsubishi Electric, Hitachi Ltd., and Fuji Electric Holdings.  Schneider was initially fined 8 million Euro ($9.3 million U.S. dollars).  That fine was later reduced to 1 million Euro ($1.17 million U.S. dollars).

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