Cartel regulation—France—Q&A guide
Cartel regulation—France—Q&A guide

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Cartel regulation—France—Q&A guide
  • 1. What is the relevant legislation?
  • 2. Which authority investigates cartel matters? Is there a separate prosecution authority? Are cartel matters adjudicated or determined by the enforcement agency, a separate tribunal or the courts?
  • 3. Have there been any recent changes, or proposals for change, to the regime?
  • 4. What is the substantive law on cartels in the jurisdiction?
  • 5. To what extent are joint ventures and strategic alliances potentially subject to the cartel laws?
  • 6. Does the law apply to individuals, corporations and other entities?
  • 7. Does the regime apply to conduct that takes place outside the jurisdiction (including indirect sales into the jurisdiction)? If so, on what jurisdictional basis?
  • 8. Is there an exemption or defence for conduct that only affects customers or other parties outside the jurisdiction?
  • 9. Are there any industry-specific infringements? Are there any industry-specific defences or exemptions?
  • More...

Cartel regulation—France—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to cartel regulation in France published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: February 2021).

Authors: Franklin—Lionel Lesur; Anna Sacco

1. What is the relevant legislation?

In France, cartels are prohibited by article L 420–1 of the French Commercial Code (FCC).

If a prohibited practice is capable of affecting trade between EU member states, both article 101 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and article L 420–1 of the FCC may apply cumulatively.

Procedural rules are provided for in articles L 450–1 to L 450–8 of the FCC, and the principles relating to their implementation are described in articles R 450–1 to R 450–8 of the FCC.

2. Which authority investigates cartel matters? Is there a separate prosecution authority? Are cartel matters adjudicated or determined by the enforcement agency, a separate tribunal or the courts?

The French Competition Authority (FCA), an independent administrative authority created in 2008 to replace the former Competition Council, investigates cartel matters.

Within the FCA, a functional separation between its investigating and decision-making services has been established.

The investigating services of the FCA carries out the entire investigation phase. This service is composed of case handlers allocated among different services under the direction of a general case handler.

The FCA's decision-making body, the board, comprises of 17 members who

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