Rexel, Schneider and Legrand Updates on French Pricing Probe

Rexel, Schneider and Legrand Updates on French Pricing Probe

As a follow-up to our July 6 news of the allegations against Rexel, Schneider Electric, and Legrand by French pricing authorities stating that there was a potential breach of competition rules, all three companies were issued a verdict and released statements:

Rexel’s statement

PARIS, Oct. 21 — As part of the judicial investigation underway since 2018 relating to the so-called exemptions (“dérogations”) mechanism concerning several distributors and several suppliers of electrical equipment, a Rexel Group entity has been placed under formal investigation and required to set aside a bank guarantee of 20 million euros and a cash guarantee of 48 million euros to be paid by January 15, 2023. This decision is a step in the procedure which in no way prejudges Rexel’s guilt. Rexel continues to vigorously contest the basis and validity of this procedure and intends to exercise the appropriate means of recourse to assert its rights.

Rexel would like to point out that the dérogation mechanism, which is transparent and known to all market players, is standard practice in the world of professional distribution of electrical equipment. This mechanism is a purchase price reduction allowing Rexel to then propose to its customers the most competitive offer, without calling into question its freedom to determine its resale prices.

Rexel constantly strives to strictly comply with applicable laws and regulations, and continues to strengthen and update its ethics and compliance system in France and in all the countries in which the Group is present.

Schneider Electric’s statement:

Rueil-Malmaison (France), Oct. 20 – Further to on-site investigations conducted in 2018 by a French Investigating Judge (Juge d’instruction) and the French Competition Authority (Autorité de la Concurrence) concerning electrical distribution activities in France, the Investigating Judge decided to indict Schneider Electric and to require the Company to provide a bank guarantee of €20 million [USD $19.91 million] and a cash guarantee of €80 million [USD $79.66 million] to be paid in January 2023.

Those actions do not mean that Schneider Electric will ultimately be found guilty of any wrongdoing. Schneider Electric firmly disagrees with all the allegations made by the French Investigating Judge and the French Competition Authority and intends to vigorously and fully defend itself.

Schneider Electric’s commercial policy is designed to comply with all regulations. Schneider Electric has always cooperated with the authorities and intends to continue to do so.

Legrand’s statement:

Oct. 20 — As part of the investigation of the derogation mechanism on the French market, one of Legrand’s French entities has been indicted and ordered to provide security in the amount of €80.5 million [USD $80.15 million].

Neither this indictment nor the ordering of this security mean that Legrand will ultimately be found guilty of any wrongdoing.

Legrand rejects that these proceedings have any merit and intends to vigorously demonstrate that its trade policy is in full compliance with the applicable law.


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