COMPETITION • FRENCH LAW • MERGERS
Based on the evaluation of journey time, this method provides an accurate picture of the customers a store is attracting. The Competition Authority defines a local geographic market based on the actual behavior of consumers in a given area using information collected by the points of sale on the location of their customers, and generally limits the market to the area that accounts for 80% of revenue or 80% of the store’s customers, the percentage of consumers not included being considered as non-significant one-time customers. The Authority sometimes adjusts the actual footprint method in consideration of the characteristics of the distribution system concerned. For example, it has held that the 20% restriction corresponding to a non-significant customer base should not be applied with respect to LPG small bulk sales as, in that market, the customer does not go to the depot but the distributor delivers the product, so that the footprints must be calculated on the basis of the location of all the customers for each depot. In the Darty/Fnac decision, the Authority even completely ruled out the actual footprint method calculated from the buyers’ homes for the determination of catchment areas in the city of Paris, since many Parisians make their purchases close to their place of work rather than their homes, and as the capital is an attractive leisure area for many Parisians and tourists who purchase brown and white goods at some distance from their place of residence.