French retailer Auchan is mulling over its options after a EUR1m (US$1.4m) fine from the Commercial Court of Lille for abusive practices in its contracts with suppliers.

The court yesterday (7 September) handed out the fine after upholding that there was a significant imbalance in the relationship between Auchan and some of its suppliers in terms of renegotiating rates.

However, the retailer defended its actions and said it should not have been punished.

A spokesperson for Auchan told just-food: “In this case, we believe that we should not be condemned. We continue to say that there is no significant imbalance in our relationships with our suppliers. We believe that business relationships we develop with our suppliers comply with the provisions of the law to modernise the economy and we want to have balanced trade relations with our suppliers.

“We do not yet know the motivation of the court. We will take the time to study the contents of the decision to decide what action to take.”