Perfume cartel fined £32m

Manufacturers of some of the world’s most glamorous perfume and cosmetics brands were fined by French competition authorities yesterday after it was ruled that the companies had colluded to keep prices high at the expense of the consumer.

Thirteen iconic brands, including Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior and Guerlain, and three leading French retailers were fined almost £32 million between them for inflating prices between 1997 and 2000.

The French competition council said that under the price-fixing arrangement, a “price police” was set up between them to artificially inflate prices, put pressure on individual vendors and threaten reprisals against those that refused to apply the prices set by the perfume and cosmetic brands