Ikea France snooped on staff and customers for a decade, say prosecutors

Ikea set up a sprawling surveillance regime employing private detectives and corrupt cops to spy on its own staff and even customers, say prosecutors in France. The company's French subsidiary is going on trial this week along with former CEO Stefan Vanoverbeke, several former store managers and a number of police officers accused of handing over information.

The court is investigating the period between 2009 and 2012, but prosecutors say practices in France started nearly a decade earlier. Jean-Francois Paris, Ikea France's former director of risk management, is accused of sending lists of names to be investigated to private investigators. The bill for these investigations could have been up to €600,000, according to court documents seen by the AFP news agency.

The campaign is hard to fathom—it seems vaguely about union-busting but also runaway paranoid crackpottery in general—and is likely to cost the company millions of Euros in fines.