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Supermarket Chain Aushan Reapplies for Liquor License in Moscow Region

Supermarket chain Auchan has submitted documents for a license to sell alcohol in the Moscow region after its current license was canceled by regulators.

The company chose to apply for a new license instead of renewing the old one to save on time required for processing, the director of Auchan's Moscow office Jean-Pierre Germain said, Vedomosti reported Monday.

A representative of the regional department for markets and consumer services confirmed Monday that the French company had applied for a new license after its current license was cancelled by regulators over discrepancies with reporting sales volumes. The application is expected to take two to three weeks to process.

The chain's 12 stores in the Moscow region stopped selling alcohol on Nov. 8. Regulators hinted they may sue the retailer because of inconsistencies in Auchan's alcohol turnover reports for the second half of 2012 and the first two quarters of this year.

Regional official Vladimir Posazhennikov said last week that in the case of a legal procedure Auchan would not be able to sell alcohol for three to four months.

He suggested, however, that if the retailer surrendered its current alcohol license voluntarily and applied for a new one the issue could be resolved without legal action and the Auchan would be able to resume alcohol sales in a matter of weeks.

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