Amazon looking at French distribution deals: report

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PARIS (Reuters) – Amazon (AMZN.O) has approached various French supermarket operators – including Casino (CASP.PA) – about setting up distribution deals or making an acquisition in the country, newspaper Le Monde reported, citing its own sources.

Le Monde said Amazon had contacted Casino over Casino’s Monoprix division, but Casino had declined to pursue the matter.

“Casino does not intend to sell Monoprix,” Le Monde reported, citing sources within Casino.

Casino declined to comment while officials at Amazon could not immediately be reached for comment.

Le Monde added Amazon had also contacted supermarket companies Intermarche and Systeme U. Officials at Intermarche and Systeme U could not be reached for comment.

Earlier this month, traders cited market speculation that Amazon could be interested in bidding for French supermarket operator Carrefour (CARR.PA). Carrefour said it did not comment on market rumors.

Amazon bought Whole Foods Market this year for $13.7 billion, in a deal that marked a dramatic change in strategy for a company that had offered food delivery through its Fresh service for a decade but had not previously made any major dents in the $700 billion grocery market.

Reporting by Pascale Denis; Writing by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Mark Potter

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