The site vente-privé pinned by the Répression des fraudes -

The DGCCRF accuses the company of deception on prices. The online sales site would have set up "Different fraudulent strategies to build a fictitious reference price".

The Repression of Fraud has sent to the prosecutor of the Republic of Bobigny the conclusions of an investigation on the French group of commerce on-line vente-privé, which it accuses of deceptions on the prices, announced Thursday, January 10 the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF).

"The company is accused of having tried to give its customers the illusion of doing a good business by implementing various fraudulent strategies to build a '' reference price '' fictitious '', according to a statement from the DGCCRF.

Particularly attractive promotion rates

This "Reference price", explains the organization, is the price from which is calculated the rate of reduction practiced. "In this case," benchmark prices "that did not correspond in fact to any economic reality were used to display particularly attractive promotion rates", specifies the authority of the competition.

The investigation was based on findings made on the company's website and on the analysis of documents seized during searches carried out in June 2016 on its premises.

Contacted by AFP, the company, specializing in online destocking of major brands "Strongly denies that fraudulent strategies have been put in place". "In contrast, the company has, in recent years, deployed significant human and financial resources to verify the recommended prices of its many brands partners", she says in a statement to AFP.

Read also: Fashion, ecological disasters of "fast fashion"

Unfair competition

The company founded in 2001 by Jacques-Antoine Granjon specifies not to be the object "No prosecution to date". She says that she is not able to comment further on a secret procedure that she has not yet had access to.

Internet distance selling, especially in the form of sales "Event", is the subject of a " particular attention " from the services of the DGCCRF who control the loyalty of the prices displayed and promotional practices, the statement said.

Indeed, "Unfair practices of misleading price reductions based on illusory reference prices skew consumer choices and disrupt the smooth functioning of markets by inducing unfair competition", emphasizes the repression of frauds.

Read also: Balances, what happens to the unsold?

Regular surveys are thus conducted to combat this type of deceptive marketing practices. Some have recently led the organization to open legal proceedings against 19 online retailers, which have resulted in the payment of several million euros in fines in connection with criminal transactions.

The Cross (with AFP)