COMPETITION • FRENCH LAW • RESTRICTIVE AGREEMENTS
The reference to the anticompetitive object in Article L. 420-1 of the French Commercial Code has a dual meaning: procedural and substantive. Firstly, proof of an actual or potential anticompetitive effect is not required once it is established that the practice in question has an anticompetitive object. A practice that pursues an anticompetitive object may be prohibited regardless of its effects, its actual application or its open or absolute nature.
Certain agreements or practices restrict competition by their very nature. They are so likely to produce negative effects on competition that it is not necessary to demonstrate their actual or appreciable effects. The courts have characterized as “restrictions by object” those practices which, by their very object, constitute anticompetitive practices.