March 5, 2016 / 1:50 AM / 3 years ago

Brazil opens probe into McDonald's, Arcos Dorados franchisee

View of McDonald's logo in Paris, France, March 1, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen - RTS8XRG

(Reuters) - A federal prosecutor in Brazil has launched a civil inquiry into McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N), franchisee Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc (ARCO.N) and other franchise groups over alleged violations of franchise law, antitrust provisions and tax avoidance, the prosecutor’s office said on Friday.

McDonald’s referred questions to Arcos Dorados, which said it had not been officially notified of the action by Brazilian prosecutor Marcos Jose Gomes Correa.

“The company provides every assurance that it complies with all the laws in all of the markets in which it does business,” Argentina-based Arcos Dorados said in a statement.

Correa’s office said the probe had just started and did not provide further details.

The UGT, one of Brazil’s largest labor federations, and other labor groups have been pressing prosecutors to investigate McDonald’s on a range of issues including tax evasion, unfair competition and labor violations.

Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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