Royal Mail has today agreed to pay a fine of €55m (£40m) to the French competition authority, Autorite de la Concurrence, to settle a price fixing charge.
The fine relates to the activities of Royal Mail's French subsidiary, GLS France, which, along with 19 other courier companies and a trade association, was said to have colluded to agree its annual price increases to customers between 2004 and 2010.
In total, the companies were handed down €672m worth of fines for their actions, which consists of €671m for the fixing of the annual price rises and €1m charged to 15 of the companies and the trade association for agreements relating to fuel costs charged to customers.
A statement issued by Royal Mail this morning read: "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 also noted that the Autorite de la Concurrence agreed to reduce the fine because Royal Mail did not contest the allegations and that it had already made a provision to cover any potential penalty in its accounts for the year ended March 2015.
Share price for Royal Mail has stayed fairly stable throughout the day, trading up 1.2 per cent around mid-afternoon.