Competition law can be defined as
all the legal rules that govern rivalries between economic agents in the search for and retention of customers ,
which can also be expressed by
the rules for gaining and maintaining market share .
Competition law is part of economic law, it falls under market law.
It encompasses the legal rules applicable to the market. These are provisions prohibiting anti-competitive practices, whether individual or collective. It extends to the rules concerning all practices which are liable to affect the behavior of undertakings in the face of competition. This is particularly the prohibition of unfair competition , the regulatory law and public competition law .
The provisions concerning anti-competitive practices are codified in the Commercial Code , they are implemented by the Competition Authority and the courts ,
whereas the rules concerning unfair competition are attached to the Civil Code and are jurisprudential .
Competition law includes the rules of national competition law and Community competition law
Competition law texts
The fundamental texts of competition law are
– in community law, in the Treaty of Rome, articles 81 to 89 (in the numbering of the Treaty of Amsterdam) grouped together in the chapter on “competition rules”.
– in French law the ordinance of December 1, 1986 on freedom of prices and competition.
In Community law, the Treaty of Rome is based on competition principles. He calls for ” a high degree of convergence of economic performance ” ( article 2 ). The Article 3 provides that the activities of the Community include ” a system ensuring that competition is not distorted in the internal market ” The Treaty of Rome provides in article 4 “… an economic policy conducted in accordance with the principle of a market economy where competition is free.
In French law, the freedom to undertake is recognized as a constitutional principle (DC January 16, 1982). It is associated with the freedom of trade and industry, recognized by administrative jurisprudence. The Council of State applied the freedom of competition long before it expressed it as resulting from the ordinance of December 1, 1986.
Liberalization of competition
Competition has also been developed by the texts on the liberalization of competition , in particular through the liberalization of telecommunications , the liberalization of energy , the liberalization of rail services and the liberalization of postal services .