Souvenir dispensers: exclusionary abuse by French mint

Conseil de la concurrence decision (22 pages in French, PDF) finding that the French mint Monnaie de Paris, a division of the French finance ministry, had abused a dominant position in the late 1990s by refusing to supply souvenir medals to two potential operators of automatic dispensing machines for tourist sites. The decision finds the conduct to be an abuse on the grounds that Monnaie de Paris used the dominant position arising from its strong brand and its position as the official mint for money coins to exclude these competitors and to give discriminatory assistance to a supplier of dispensers of souvenir medal with which it had a long-standing (but not exclusive) commercial relationship.

The Conseil imposed a financial penalty of £68,000 (payable by the ministry to itself) and an obligation to publicise the decision, including, within two months and for at least three months, on the Monnaie de Paris website.

Filed under Article 82, Conseil de la concurrence, France.

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