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Peugeot suffers record €5 billion losses

Embattled French auto giant PSA Peugeot Citroen has announced a massive net loss of five billion euros for 2012, the worst result in its history.

Peugeot suffers record €5 billion losses
The doomed Peugeot factory at Aulnay-sous-Bois outside Paris. Photo: The Local

But France's number one carmaker said it had built the foundations for recovery after cleaning up its balance sheet and implementing a tough restructuring plan.

Peugeot blamed the results on a previously announced 4.7 billion euro asset writedown last year and the crisis in the European car market.

The loss, announced on Wednesday, compared with a profit of 588 million euros in 2011, while revenue for the year fell 5.2 percent to 55.4 billion euros.

The results "reflect the deterioration of the automative industry environment in Europe," chief executive officer Philippe Varin said in a statement. But he added: "The foundations for our rebound have been laid."

The results were worse than forecast by analysts and overshadowed the previous record loss of 1.2 billion in 2009. Net debt stood at three billion euros, the company said.

On Monday, the European Commission authorised France temporarily to shore up Peugeot to the tune of a six-month 1.2 billion euro guarantee.

PSA Peugeot Citroen, which has a strategic tie-up with General Motors (GM) of the United States, is in the midst of a restructuring involving deep job cuts.

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BUSINESS

French court hands Amazon €90,000-per-day fine over contracts

French authorities on Wednesday slapped a €90,000-per-day fine on e-commerce giant Amazon until it removes abusive clauses in its contracts with businesses using its platform to sell their goods.

French court hands Amazon €90,000-per-day fine over contracts

The anti-fraud Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes (DGCCRF) service said the online sales giant’s contracts with third-party sellers who use its Amazon.fr website contain “unbalanced” clauses.

“The company Amazon Services Europe did not comply completely with an injunction it was served and it is now subject to a fine of €90,000 per day of delay” in applying the changes, the DGCCRF said in a statement.

It also urged the platform to conform with European rules on equity and transparency for firms using online platforms.

Amazon said the order would harm consumers.

“The changes imposed by the DGCCRF will stop us from effectively protecting consumers and permit bad actors to set excessive prices or spam our clients with commercial offers,” the e-commerce giant said in a statement.

“We will comply with the DGCCRF’s decision but we absolutely do not understand it and we are challenging it in court,” responded the e-commerce giant in a statement.

Amazon said the clauses that the DGCCRF has ordered removed had, for example “prevented the appearance of exorbitant prices for mask and hydroalcoholic gel during the pandemic”.

In 2019, Amazon was fined €4 million for “manifestly unbalanced” contract clauses with third-party sellers on its site in a case brought by the DGCCRF.

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