Fast Food/Quick Service Restaurants

McDonald’s gouging consumers in EU, complaint alleges

AP MCDONALDS SALES S OLY GRCA coalition of Italian consumer groups, with backing from the American Service Employees International Union, said Tuesday that it has filed an antitrust complaint with the European Commission against McDonald’s, alleging that the hamburger giant has used its dominant position in the market to gouge consumers and its franchisees. In the complaint, the consumer groups allege that McDonald’s is violating European Union rules by abusing its position as a landlord by charging rents to franchisees with prices up to 10 times above market rates. The coalition that filed the complaint says that the effects of McDonald’s practices in Europe are perhaps most obviously demonstrated by higher priced items at franchise restaurants compared to company-operated restaurants. About 97% of menu items had higher prices at franchise outlets than in corporate-owned restaurants in Bologna, 68% of items had higher prices in franchise stores in Rome, and 71% of menu items had higher prices in Paris, the coalition says in its complaint. More

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