PRIZE FORMATION :
Price determination and competition
The rules relating to the determination of prices are set by the provisions of Article L. 410-2 of the Commercial Code, taken up by Article L 113-1 of the Consumer Code.
Except in cases where the law provides otherwise, the prices of goods, products and services covered before January 1, 1987 by ordinance n ° 45-1483 of June 30, 1945 are freely determined by the play of competition.
However, in sectors or areas where price competition is limited either due to monopoly situations or lasting supply difficulties, or to legislative or regulatory provisions, a Council of State decree may regulate prices after consultation of the Competition Authority.
The provisions of the first two paragraphs do not prevent the Government from deciding, by decree in the Council of State, against excessive increases or decreases in prices, temporary measures motivated by a crisis situation, exceptional circumstances, a public calamity or a manifestly abnormal market situation in a given sector. The decree is made after consultation with the National Consumer Council. It specifies its period of validity, which cannot exceed six months. ”
Prices and competition law
Competition law prohibits fixed price practices. Concerted price fixing is a practice prohibited by article L 420-1 of the Commercial Code.
Providing price information is a prohibited cartel
On the other hand, the concerted fixing of prices by independent traders grouped together under the same brand does not constitute a prohibited practice when these traders are not located in the same catchment area; It is also possible for a franchisor to communicate to franchisees, located in the same catchment area, the maximum resale or recommended price scales, provided that these indications are unambiguous and that these prices do not apply in any way. reality the nature of imposed or minimum prices, Paris March 18, 1997, D. 1999 Somm 24
Price and contract law
Price is an essential and determining element of the agreement of wills. Until 1995, the Cour de Cassation held that articles 1129 and 1591 required the price to be determined on pain of nullity. The aim of this case law was to protect the co-contractor, in particular in contracts for the exclusive supply of beer, from the unilateral possibility of fixing the price (see for example Com. 2 Nov. 1993) and to sanction “list prices”. The Court of Cassation had however made it a general rule and thus refused a reference to the market price (see Com. 11 Oct. 1978, D. 1979, 135 n. Houin), while the Court of Appeal of Paris admitted that the price was determinable on the ground that
Since the decisions of the Plenary Assembly of the Court of Cassation dated December 1, 1995, reversing the previous case law on the determination of the price, “Article 1129 not being applicable to the determination of the price, a court of appeal, which is not seized of a request for termination or compensation for abuse in the fixing of the price, legally justifies its decision by rejecting the exception of nullity of a contract for the rental of a telephone installation and amendments made, based on the indeterminacy of the price of part of the stipulated services “( Ass. Plén. December 1, 1995 )
The criterion now is abuse in pricing and controlling abusive practices. Civil contract law thus accompanies competition law by establishing the framework contracts regime.
|Comparative Lawv. the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code in matters of sales concerning the absence of price fixing: §2-305 Open price term
Consumer information on prices
The Article L113-3 of the Consumer Code provides that
Any seller of a product or any service provider must, by means of marking, labeling, display or any other appropriate process, inform the consumer about the prices, the possible limitations of contractual liability and the particular conditions of the sale, in accordance with the terms set by decree of the Minister responsible for the economy, after consultation with the National Consumer Council.
This provision applies to all the activities referred to in the last paragraph of Article L. 113-2.
The price display is mandatory so that the consumer can know the price and compare it without difficulty.
The quote is useful when the product or service is more complex and personalized.
The rules relating to the obligation to provide information by credit institutions, payment institutions and organizations mentioned in Article L. 518-1 of the Monetary and Financial Code are set out in Article L. 31-1-1 and sections 3 and 4 of chapter IV of title I of book III of the same code.