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Le présent support ne peut être reproduit sans autorisation 2 International Distribution Institute June 15 and 16, 2007 Conference Daria SAUER Avocat.

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Presentation on theme: "Le présent support ne peut être reproduit sans autorisation 2 International Distribution Institute June 15 and 16, 2007 Conference Daria SAUER Avocat."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Le présent support ne peut être reproduit sans autorisation 2 International Distribution Institute June 15 and 16, 2007 Conference Daria SAUER Avocat Cabinet FIDAL daria.sauer@fidal.fr Panel on Recommended Prices and Price Fixing The French Law Perspective

3 Le présent support ne peut être reproduit sans autorisation 3 Section L. 420-1 of the French commercial code (equivalent to Article 81 of the EC Treaty) Section L. 442-5 of the French commercial code (restrictive practice ; criminal offence ; fines up to 15,000 - x 5 for undertakings) Reminder : Criminal offence for individuals to take a personnal and material part in resale price maintenance (Section L. 420-6 of the French commercial code) Price Fixing and Recommended price French rules

4 Le présent support ne peut être reproduit sans autorisation 4 Proof of tacit agreement Combination of « serious, precise et concording » indications Around 3 criteria Combination of « serious, precise et concording » indications Around 3 criteria Criteria n°1 Criteria n°2Criteria n°3 Suggestion of Retail Sale Prices Agreement proposal (Conseil de la concurrence, March 13, 2006, « Parfumeurs ») Significant implementation of recommended prices Price policing measures Tacit acceptance Control of agreement effectiveness

5 Le présent support ne peut être reproduit sans autorisation 5 Proof of tacit agreement Criteria n° 1 : Prohibited agreement proposal The suggestion of retail prices to distributors may be demonstrated by any means through which the manufacturer informs its distributors of intended retail prices For instance : Participation in meetings Price brochures Pre-labelling

6 Le présent support ne peut être reproduit sans autorisation 6 Price surveys interpretation by the French Competition Council, the confirmation of an 80 % threshold rule: Presumption of prohibited agreement : the Competition Council considers that an 80 % or over rate of implementation of recommended retail prices is sufficient to establish infringement Need of further evidence : On the contrary, should the implementation rate stay below the 80 % threshold, the situation needs to be investigated further by directly observing, by means of a survey chart, the effective concentration of prices nearby the recommended retail prices. Proof of tacit agreement Criteria n° 2 : Implementation

7 Le présent support ne peut être reproduit sans autorisation 7 Proof of tacit agreement Criteria n° 2 : Implementation Example of Women Gaultier Spray price survey : Infringement found (Conseil de la concurrence, March 13, 2006, point n°539)

8 Le présent support ne peut être reproduit sans autorisation 8 Proof of tacit agreement Criteria n° 2 : Implementation Example of Azzaro perfume price survey : Infringement not found (Conseil de la concurrence, March 13, 2006, point n°522

9 Le présent support ne peut être reproduit sans autorisation 9 Contrary to European competition authorities (cf. CFI judgment of January 13, 2004, Case T-67/01), the Competition Council does not require that control measures necessarily involve coercion. For instance, they may take the form of : Simple price information returns Incitative end of year discounts Proof of tacit agreement Criteria n° 3 : Control measures

10 Le présent support ne peut être reproduit sans autorisation 10 FIDAL Marseille Office (PACA Region) 480, Avenue du Prado BP 62 – 13266 Marseille Cedex 08 Tel. : + 33.4.96.20.53.99 Télécopie : + 33.4.96.96.07. 31 Daria SAUER Avocat Distribution – Competition Intellectual Property – Information Technologies


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