Ahold, Kaufland Probed by Czech Regulator Over Alleged Market Rule Breach

Dutch supermarket owner Royal Ahold NV and German retailer Kaufland Stiftung & Co Kg are being investigated by a Czech regulator for a possible breach of rules on market dominance.

Ahold, which operates about 300 Albert and Hypernova supermarkets in the country, and closely held Kaufland are being probed for the “possible breach of the law about substantial market power,” Milena Maresova, a spokeswoman for the Czech Anti-Monopoly Office in Prague, said in an e-mail today. She didn’t provide further details about the probe.

“We are convinced that the way in which we apply a new law, which is the case here, is the right way and that we conduct business in the proper manner,” Jochem van de Laarschot, spokesman for Amsterdam-based Ahold, said by telephone today. “Of course we’re cooperating fully with the investigation and are looking forward to the outcome with confidence.”

Kaufland spokesman Michael Sperl confirmed the company is being investigated but gave no further comment. The investigation will carry on until the end of next week, he said in an e-mail.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jurjen van de Pol in Amsterdam at jvandepol@bloomberg.net; Ladka Bauerova in Paris at lbauerova@bloomberg.net.

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