Local government officials in Paris have asked France’s anti-trust regulator to start an investigation into the market position of retailer Casino within the French capital.

A study commissioned by the City of Paris Council concluded that Casino accounted for around 60% of Paris’ retail market, followed by Carrefour with 20%.

“In our view, there are examples of near-monopoly and basically we have two retailers who are battling it out to set up outlets almost everywhere in Paris, The upshot of this is that Parisians are having to cope with a hike in (retail) prices,” a spokesman for the Council said.  

The spokesman said the Council had appealed to the regulator as it felt “powerless” to do anything about the situation  – as many of the stores do not exceed 1,000 square metres and thus do not require public authority approval to open.    

However, a Casino spokesman told just-food that the report was flawed. “It’s a report into urbanism and not retailing and one which establishes market share on the basis of square metres of space rather than on turnover,” the spokesman claimed.

He said the report did not account for the fact that many Parisians did their in the suburbs, outside the 20 arrondissements which make up the city.  

“It’s an open retail market in Paris where we estimate our market share at less than 20%.”