TNT Express and Royal Mail’s international delivery arm GLS are among 20 parcel companies that have been fined by the French competition authority for price fixing between 2004 and 2010.

An investigation by French competition body L'Autorité de la concurrence (FCA) found that the companies traded pricing information and agreed on annual rate increases in the French parcel delivery sector during meetings held by trade association TLF.

The allegations came to the authority’s attention in 2008.

The body has today (15 December) fined 20 companies a total of €672m (£487.7m). Geodis received the largest fine (€196m), while Royal Mail Group was fined €55m in respect of the FCA’s findings against its GLS France division.

TNT Express has been ordered to a pay €58m fine.

TNT said in a statement: “TNT has co-operated with the investigation since it started in 2010. During the third quarter of 2014, TNT entered into a settlement agreement with the FCA and booked a provision of €50 million in relation to this matter.”

Royal Mail

Royal Mail said its fine is also covered by a provision it made earlier this year.

“Royal Mail recognises the absolute need to comply with European and national competition law and the necessity to prevent infringements.

"It has implemented an enhanced compliance programme in GLS France in order to strengthen the culture of competition law compliance,” the company added in a statement.

Kuehne + Nagel subsidary Alloin Group also received a €32m fine. It claimed that approximately €31m of the amount charged is attributable to the time before K+N acquired the company in 2009.

It said: "Kuehne + Nagel dissociates itself from such business practices, has a comprehensive compliance programme in place, which is continuously improving, and has been cooperating with the French competition authority since 2010.

"Kuehne + Nagel is reviewing all options, including an appeal against the decision as well as a recourse against the sellers."

Among those alleged to have also been involved are Norbert Dentressangle France (now XPO Logistics), which has been fined €9.7m; DHL Express France, which has been fined €81.1m; FedEx Express France, fined €17m; and Gefco, fined €30.6m.

Earlier this year UK regulator Ofcom provisionally found that Royal Mail had breached competition law in respect of final mile price increases.