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‘Nutella riots’ price discount sparks French fraud probe

The finance ministry will look at whether the Intermarche supermarket chain breached pricing regulations.

Fraud watchdogs are investigating a promotional campaign for Nutella that prompted scuffles in several French supermarkets — and even a police intervention.

The finance ministry’s fraud agency said it will examine whether the campaign by the Intermarche supermarket chain violated pricing regulations.

Intermarche drew big crowds at several stores last week after announcing sales of the popular chocolate and hazelnut spread for just 1.41 euro (£1.23), some 70% below the regular price.

Video circulated online of ensuing scuffles in some stores, drawing worldwide attention — as well as questions from authorities.

Nutella manufacturer Ferrero distanced itself from the issue, saying Intermarche is entirely responsible.

The investigation comes as the government prepares to present a draft law this week aimed at stricter and clearer regulations for big retailers.

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