Vogel News


A weekly update of important cases in French and European competition law, distribution law, consumer law and European business law.

All decisions cited are available for consultation in our Decisions database (full text)

French Competition Law

Parasitism: Appropriating the economic value of another

Selling glasses at a price of EUR 1.40 which are copies of those of the plaintiff undertaking which sell for an average price of EUR 105 each, being the result of intellectual and creative endeavors and promotional investments in partnership with a renowned American oenologist, and displaying them in a very similar way, constitutes a usurping of the success of those glasses and creates a risk of confusion and trivialization of the work or the brand in the minds of customers.
CA Paris, 1 March 2019, LawLex20190000306JBJ

Sudden termination of established commercial relationship: Modification of contract terms

A rate increase limited to 3% does not constitute a substantial modification of the terms of the contract equivalent to a termination of the established commercial relationship.
CA Paris, 28 February 2019, LawLex20190000311JBJ

Sudden termination of established commercial relationship: Proof of fault

The granting of even a very short notice of 24 days rules out the allegation of a serious breach.
CA Paris, 5 March 2019, LawLex20190000303JBJ

Sudden termination of established commercial relationship: Proof of fault

Grievances formulated by the client after the notification of the termination and not mentioned in his letter cannot be reviewed by the court to assess the existence of a serious breach.
CA Paris, 7 March 2019, LawLex20190000301JBJ

Sudden termination of established commercial relationship: Length of notice

Circumstances subsequent to the termination such as the cessation of the terminated supplier’s activity cannot be taken into account for the determination of a reasonable notice period.
CA Paris, 7 March 2019, LawLex20190000301JBJ

Actions available for abuse of dependence: Applicable law

Article L. 442-6, I, 5° of the Commercial Code, which provides for the protection of private interests and of which implementation is excluded in respect of certain categories of persons, does not constitute a mandatory public policy provision which is a classification reserved for provisions the respect of which is considered crucial by a country for the safeguarding of its public interests, such as its political, social or economic organization to the extent of requiring their application to any situation falling within their scope regardless of the law chosen by the parties.
CA Paris, 28 February 2019, LawLex20190000299JBJ

Mergers: Corrective measures

The offer of a “fix-it-first” structural commitment, which consists in identifying the buyer of the assets concerned before the Competition Authority has adopted the authorization decision, is capable of addressing the competition concerns raised by the concentration.
Competition Authority, 29 January 2019, LawLex20190000290JBJ

Civil sanctions: Procedure

A decision to grant interim relief cannot suffice to establish that the victims had adequate knowledge of the anticompetitive practices to allow them to take legal action for compensation, so that only the decision on the merits to convict the latter can serve as a starting point for the five-year limitation period.
CA Paris, 6 March 2019, LawLex20190000300JBJ

Civil sanctions: Damages

The undertaking which acquires all the shares of other undertakings having participated in a cartel, dissolves those undertakings and continues their commercial activities, is liable for the harm caused by the cartel in question.
CJEU, Case C-724/17 Vantaan kaupunki, Judgment of 14 March 2019, LawLex20190000328JBJ

Read more

French Distribution Law

Franchise: Lawfulness of network

The franchisee violates the preference clause, where, without informing the franchisor, he sells his shares to a competing network.
CA Paris, 6 March 2019, LawLex20190000315JBJ

Franchise: Extraordinary termination

The notification of the termination of a master franchisee contract is not valid when it comes after the sending of a first formal notice letter – albeit concerning the termination clause – but followed, after the expiry of the thirty-day period by other formal notice letters referencing the same breaches and expressing the willingness of the franchisor to renegotiate the contract rather than threatening any sanction.
CA Paris, 6 March 2019, LawLex20190000316JBJ

Read more

French Consumer Law

Misleading commercial practices: Material distortion of economic behavior of consumer

In the absence of evidence of any distortion of the economic behavior of the average consumer, merely using the brand of a third party together with the term “sales” to direct users to the website of a professional who does not sell the products in question, does not constitute a misleading commercial practice.
CA Paris, 5 March 2019, LawLex20190000317JBJ

Misleading commercial practices: Civil sanction

The infringement of the rules of the Consumer Code, particularly those relating to misleading commercial practices, is only prejudicial to consumers and not to competitors of the professional.
CA Paris, 5 March 2019, LawLex20190000322JBJ

Information obligation: Obligation to warn

A supplier of compressed logs who, on its website, recommends the use of only one or two logs at a time in order to prevent overheating, and who, while accepting that this information must be provided to the buyer, merely maintains that it was given verbally during a telephone call, fails to fulfill its pre-contractual information obligation.
CA Lyon, 5 March 2019, LawLex20190000309JBJ

Read more

Europe

Publishing on the internet: Protection of personal data

The video recording of police officers in a police station, while a statement is being made, and the publication of that recorded video on a video website, on which users can send, watch and share videos cannot be regarded as a processing of personal data in the exercise of an activity which falls outside the scope of the GDPR, i.e. concerning public security, defense, State security and the activities of the State in areas of criminal law, or by a natural person in the course of a purely personal or household activity.
CJEU Case C-345/17 Sergejs Buivids, Judgment of 14 February 2019, LawLex20190000219JBJ

Publishing on the internet: Protection of personal data

The video recording of police officers in a police station, while a statement is being made, and the publication of that recorded video on a video website, on which users can send, watch and share videos, may constitute a processing of personal data solely for journalistic purposes insofar as it is apparent from that video that the sole object of that recording and publication thereof is the disclosure of information, opinions or ideas to the public.
CJEU Case C-345/17 Sergejs Buivids, Judgment of 14 February 2019, LawLex20190000219JBJ

Read more

Vogel Global Competition Newsletter

Our quarterly newsletter discusses recent case law of the countries of the Vogel Global Competition Network.

No 2 – December 2018

Australia – New prohibition against concerted practices

Denmark – The Danish Competition Council’s decision on industry standard setting

Estonia – The Estonian Competition Authority – a shift towards stricter merger control?

Lithuania – Improving merger control in Lithuania

Polynesia – French Polynesia establishes competition framework

Romania – Romanian Competition Council sanctions private medical hospitals and stem cells banks for anticompetitive agreements

No 1 – March 2018

Croatia – Prohibition of unfair trading practices in the food supply chain

Denmark – Danish competition rules become more reflective of EU law

India – New target exemption under the Competition Act 2002

Malta – Maltese Competition Authority imposes interim measures on insurance companies

Romania – Exchange of sensitive information in merger cases – Romanian Competition Council assessment

South Africa – The South African Competition Amendment Bill – will it be business as usual in South Africa?

United Kingdom – UK competition law following Brexit – update

No 3 – November 2017

Belarus – Upgrading the Belarusian anti-monopoly regulation

China – How to assess ‘control’ under MOFCOM’s latest draft of measures for reviewing notifi cation of concentrations

Estonia – European Commission disapproves of Estonia’s fi ning practices

Belarus – Upgrading the Belarusian anti-monopoly regulation

China – How to assess ‘control’ under MOFCOM’s latest draft of measures for reviewing notifi cation of concentrations

Estonia – European Commission disapproves of Estonia’s fi ning practices

No 2 – July 2017

Chile – Legislative amendments to the Chilean competition defense system

Denmark – New Danish Marketing Practices Act

No 1 – March 2017

Cyprus – Combating cartels – the leniency program in Cyprus by Charis Papachristodoulou

Greece – Procedural modernization of Greek competition law – new settlement procedure for cartel investigations by Tania Patsalia