The Italian antitrust investigates Benetton for possible abuses in franchising contracts

    MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s competition authority said Wednesday it is investigating clothing retailer Benetton for possible abuse in two of its franchise agreements with independent retailers.

    The authority added that it had carried out inspections in some Benetton offices on Tuesday, with the Italian Finance Police.

    The Authority is studying the possible use of contractual clauses by Benetton to heavily influence the strategic choices of resellers, for example in terms of timing and quantity of purchase orders.

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    He said that the use of such a contractual framework by a company “that manages a significant franchise network … could have a significant impact on all the entrepreneurs that make up the network, thus penalizing the competitiveness of the market”.

    The Benetton group had no immediate comments.

    Reporting by Maria Pia Quaglia, additional reporting by Elisa Anzolin, editing by Agnieszka Flak

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