13 January 2020

Actions available for abuse of dependence: Pre-litigation mediation clause
Wording which is not sufficiently precise to impose an attempt at amicable resolution before resorting to legal action before the competent court to settle the dispute may not be relied on to defend an action brought by the victim of a sudden termination of an established commercial relationship.
CA Paris, 19 December 2019, LawLex201900001594JBJ

Sudden termination of an established commercial relationship:
Starting pointAn email sent by a regular customer to his service provider announcing that he is working on optimizing his costs and asking him for his best prices is not sufficiently clear about his intentions to constitute the starting point for the termination notice period.
CA Paris, 28 November 2019, LawLex201900001488JBJ

Sudden termination of an established commercial relationship: Assessment of harm
Where a court finds an undertaking liable for sudden termination of an established commercial relationship, it cannot add interest to the award granted to the victim at the rates provided for by Article L. 441-10 (former Art. L. 441-6) of the Commercial Code which only applies for non-payment of invoices by the due date.
Court of Cassation, commercial chamber, 18 December 2019, LawLex201900001587JBJ

Anticompetitive agreements: Complex infringement
The absence of any multilateral meetings between competitors for 21 months does not affect a classification of continuous practice, where bilateral meetings and various contacts took place during that period.
Competition Authority, 17 December 2019, LawLex201900001582JBJ

Anticompetitive agreements: Concertation
The fact that a member of the cartel gained market share over its competitors during the infringement period does not show a distancing on its part.
Competition Authority, 17 December 2019, LawLex201900001582JBJ

Abuse of dominant position: Unfair prices
Where the price arising from a price increase appears to be fair, the increase leading to that price cannot be considered unfair unless the dominant undertaking has breached the contract with its client in order to impose an increase ahead of schedule.
CA Paris, 14 November 2019, LawLex201900001450JBJ

Investigation: Appeals
A warrant authorizing a search based only on anonymous statements corroborated by no other element must be cancelled.
Court of Cassation, criminal chamber, 18 December 2019, LawLex201900001590JBJ

Court-ordered investigation: Professional documents
The right to know which documents have been seized does not mean that the occupier of the premises and his/her counsel have the right to view all of the documents as and when they are consulted by the Competition Authority case handlers, but only those they are about to seize following the search, sorting and selection operations.
CA Paris, 11 December 2019, LawLex201900001552JBJ

Proceedings before Competition Authority: Rejection of application
The Competition Authority may reject an application when the case has already been dealt with by other national competition authorities, regardless of the outcome.
Competition Authority, 10 December 2019, LawLex201900001565JBJ

Fines: Belonging to a group
The entity, including its parent with which it forms an undertaking for the purposes of competition law, which is liable for the infringement incurs an increase of the fine to take account of the financial power of the group to which it belongs and ensure that the sanction is a sufficient deterrent.
Competition Authority, 17 December 2019, LawLex201900001582JBJ