LexInter | June 14, 2018 | 0 Comments


Article L420-1
Are prohibited even through the direct or indirect intermediary of a group company located outside France, when their purpose or may have the effect of preventing, restricting or distorting competition in a market , concerted actions, conventions, express or tacit understandings or coalitions, in particular when they tend to:
   1 ° Limit market access or the free exercise of competition by other companies;
2 ° To prevent the fixing of prices by the free play of the market by artificially promoting their rise or fall;
3 ° Limit or control production, outlets,
4 ° Distribute markets or sources of supply.

Article L 420-3


A cartel does not imply that the authors of the prohibited actions exercise an economic activity on the market in question. An exclusivity agreement artificially creating a barrier to entry constitutes a cartel. February 13, 1996 , Bull.civ. IV, No. 48; D. 1996 IR 70


On the practices consisting in the definition and publication of standard rules of behavior between florists who engage in a floral transmission network and minimum transaction conditions likely to be ensured in all circumstances, by these florists and to set the price and content of catalogs as constituting an illicit cartel in the floral delivery market Cons. Conc. February 2, 2001

The fixing of prices within the framework of the holding of intellectual property rights is not a prohibited practice insofar as the products placed on the market can only be offered by a single operator Cons.conc. n ° 99-D-34, June 8, 1999 postcard market

Exchanges of information and distribution agreements constitute prohibited agreements . conc. n ° 99-D-11 of February 9, 1999
relating to practices noted during sanitation work in the municipalities of Toulouse and Lamasquère

On prohibited practices consisting in having implemented, prior to the submission of tenders, a consultation which aimed, through a grouping strategy and the provision of cover offers, to maintain the distribution of the markets resulting from the previous ones calls for tenders for the benefit of these companies. Cons Conc. n ° 2000-D-34 of July 18, 2000 relating to practices noted during the award of several rural electrification contracts in the department of Eure-et-Loir


Sensitivity threshold: 

In the absence of any legal or regulatory definition of a sensitivity threshold, it is up to the courts seised to verify in each case whether the potential or actual effect of the practices complained of is likely to appreciably restrict competition. in the relevant market January 12, 1999 , Bull. Civ. IV n ° 9, Contracts Conc. Com. 1999, no.42, obs. Malaurie Vignal

agreements which have only a limited scope on the relevant market and which cannot appreciably affect the game of competition are exempt from the prohibition. May 4, 1993, Bull.civ. IV n ° 172, JCP 1993.II.22111 n. Boutard Labarde

Investment and market sharing

As clarified by the Court of Justice of the European Communities (CJEC, British American Tobacco Company Ltd, Reynolds Industries, Inc., November 17, 1987) that the competition authorities must ensure whether “a passive investment in a competing company , does not actually aim to (….) establish cooperation between companies with a view to market sharing “; Decision n ° 97-D-39 of June 17, 1997

Limitations of market access

Considering that the fact for producers who have adopted a policy of systematic market sharing of finding themselves confronted with the appearance of a new entrant to react by charging prices lower than their average variable production costs may be regarded as an anti-competitive agreement if it is established that this strategy had the object or could have the effect of prohibiting or limiting market access to the new entrant Decision n ° 97-D-39 of June 17, 1997

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