“Auchan confirms that it was notified of the illegality note issued by the Competition Authority in the case in question and will naturally present its challenge and exercise the rights provided for by the Competition Law to enforce the right to contradictory regarding the facts allegedly imputed by the AdC” , says the group in a written statement sent to the Lusa.

In the note, the supermarket chain ensures that its “practices do not constitute the imputed acts”, guaranteeing that “at Auchan, all training and control processes of its employees are internally ensured, in order to avoid any type of behaviour that may result in in violation of competition rules”.

The AdC announced that it had accused the Modelo Continente, Pingo Doce and Auchan chains and the Johnson & Johnson company of “concerted practices to align prices charged to consumers in supermarkets”.

“After investigation, the AdC concluded that there are indications that three of the main supermarket chains present in Portugal used the commercial relationship with one of the most important suppliers of hygiene and personal care products to align the retail prices (PVP) of the products, to the detriment of consumers”, reads a statement from the AdC.

According to the AdC, “the investigated behaviours have lasted more than 15 years, having developed between 2001 and 2016”, and, “if confirmed, the conduct in question is very serious”.