IKEA France Executives Convicted Of Espionage

A French court has ordered IKEA to pay more than $1.2 million in fines and damages for a campaign to spy on union representatives, employees, and some unhappy customers in France. Two former IKEA France executives were convicted and fined over the scheme and given suspended prison sentences. Among the other 13 defendants in the high-profile trial, some were acquitted and others given suspended sentences. The panel of judges found that IKEA's French subsidiary used espionage to sift out trouble-makers in the ranks and profile squabbling customers between 2009 and 2012. Trade unions accused IKEA France of collecting personal data by fraudulent means, notably via illegally obtained police files and illicitly disclosing personal information. Lawyers for IKEA France denied that the company had any strategy of generalized espionage.