Blog: French protectionism

Catherine Sleep | 7 March 2006

The French government says it will protect its 20 leading companies from foreign aggressors. That’s overseas investors, to you and me. Touching, perhaps, but economically dubious. Protecting your market from inward investment runs contrary to most economists’ vision of a healthy business strategy.

Danone, Carrefour and the like do not need to be protected from Pepsi or indeed any other potential investor. They operate globally and employ an international workforce. They can run their businesses perfectly well in a free and competitive marketplace without contrived defence measures.

The immediate impact of the news of the government’s bizarre initiative was to send both companies’ share price down. Rough justice.

Carrefour and Danone on protected list


Sainsbury's pulls the price lever

Sainsbury's, the UK's second-largest grocer, has set out plans for lower prices on a range of products, a move announced amid signs of pressure on its market share....


Intermarche broke rules with Nutella promo, French watchdog says

The pandemonium in stores of Intermarché as shoppers scrambled to grab jars of cut-price Nutella went viral - but the country's competition watchdog has announced the French retailer broke rules on se...


Big Food in investor spotlight this week at CAGNY

The senior management of a number of the major food manufacturers operating in the US will be in Florida this week for a key date on investor calendars....

Forgot your password?