Eleven companies, including Yoplait and Lactalis Nestlé, were found to have pre-agreed prices for supplying supermarket-branded yoghurts.
France's competition watchdog said the 13 firms, including L'Oréal and Procter & Gamble, colluded on price increases between 2003 and 2006.
The Constitutional Court ruled invalid a law that set high fines on companies which shut plants before trying all options to keep them open.
Around 4,000 motorists faced on-the-spot fines for defying curbs on car use as pollution eased in French capital.
Amid the continuing woes of French President François Hollande, dubbed by opinion poll results as France’s most unpopular president on record, the man he beat in elections less than two years ago is apparently decided upon making a come-back attempt for the presidency in 2017. After months of rumour over an eventual renewed bid, Nicolas Sarkozy’s political ally Bernadette Chirac, wife of former president Jacques Chirac, told French radio on Wednesday that Sarkozy will indeed run against Hollande in the next elections in three years’ time. Her comments came as Mediapart has learnt that Sarkozy has settled more than 500,000 euros in fines imposed upon him for undisclosed expenses in his failed 2012 election campaign, opening the path for his return to the political forefront. Mathilde Mathieu reports.
Manuel Valls accuses controversial comedian of trying to bankrupt himself to avoid paying fines for racist abuse totalling tens of thousands of euros.
Minister says 500 firms were ordered to meet legal requirements, while private-sector gap between men's and women's salaries is estimated at 27%.
Jean-Jacques Debacq, the man in charge of collecting speeding fines in France, frequently makes tough public statements about the need to crack down on motorists who break the rules on French roads. But Mediapart can reveal that Debacq has got his own agency to pay for speeding and parking offences relating to his own civil service car. Moreover, the senior public official has escaped penalty points on his driving licence by claiming that the speeding driver of that vehicle 'had not been identified'. The ministry of the interior says they are investigating the allegations. Stéphanie Fontaine reports.
(Debacq resigned from his post following the publication of this article - see update at bottom of article page)