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C 54/2 EN Official Journal of the European Union 8.3.


Notification of a joint venture

Case COMP/D3/A38576
(2003/C 54/02)

(Text with EEA relevance)

1. On 20 November 2002 the Commission received notification, pursuant to Article 4 of Council

Regulation No 17 (1), of agreements establishing a joint venture, International Retail and Trade Services
(IRTS), between SA Auchan and SA Casino. The joint venture is to be based in Geneva.

2. According to the notification, the creation of IRTS will not affect the commercial autonomy of each
group on the downstream retail sales markets. Their cooperation will be confined to providing services on
the upstream supply market. In particular, the objective of IRTS will be:

— to develop a new range of services for international suppliers, such as the collection and processing at
international level of statistics on product sales and the development of the supplier's market share;
activities related to launching new products; to carry out international advertising campaigns; to
facilitate business relations between suppliers and the various countries where the brands are sold
by setting up a single contact point for international services,

— to contribute to the internationalisation of small businesses by facilitating their access to export

markets (advice, access to the Auchan and Casino outlet network); to look for new suppliers,

— to combat unjustified price differences that result from the national compartmentalisation of markets,

— to prevent large suppliers (listed restrictively) practising unjustifiable discrimination to the detriment of
the parties, without this implying any sharing of information between the subsidiaries and national
teams of Auchan and Casino.

3. Upon preliminary examination, the Commission finds that the notified joint venture could fall within
the scope of Regulation 17.

4. The Commission invites interested third parties to submit to it any comments they may have on the
proposed deal.

5. Comments should reach the Commission not later than ten days following the date of publication of
this notice. They may be sent, under reference number COMP/D3/A38576, by fax ((32-2) 295 30 80), by
e-mail ( or by post to the following address:

European Commission,
Directorate-General for Competition,
Anti-trust Registry,
J 70,
B-1049 Brussels.

(1) OJ 13, 21.2.1962, p. 204/62.