According to a report in the French newspaper, Les Echos, the Belgian brewer, Interbrew, is to file a complaint against the dominant position of Heineken and S&N-owned Kronenbourg in the French beer market.

The newspaper quoted Interbrew's legal counsel, Patrice Thys, as saying: "Heineken and Kronenbourg have put in place a system of vertical integration which literally shuts out competitors from the French market."

Thys told the paper that Interbrew would prove its case to the French competition authorities by citing the European Commission's findings concerning the Belgian market.

The case in Belgium in 2001 found Interbrew and Danone to be engaged in a pact to control the Belgian hotel, restaurant and cafe outlet market and to cooperate over pricing. Thys was quoted as saying: "If we have been found guilty by the European Commission for the creation of a cartel in Belgium, our competitors who create cartels in other countries should also be found guilty and open up their markets to us."

Interbrew has so far not commented on the report.