COMPETITION • FRENCH LAW • Abuse of dominant position

In contrast with European law, abuses of dominance are subject to individual exemptions under French law in the same way as for anticompetitive agreements, even if Article L. 420-4 of the Commercial Code is rarely applied. Thus the practices of a dominant undertaking which fall under the scope of Article L. 420-2 may be justified when they result from the application of a statute or a regulation for the implementation thereof. An exemption may also be granted where the effect of the abusive practice is to ensure economic progress. According to the Court of Cassation, such is the case when the abuse is the consequence of the setting up of a high quality after-sales service or of a franchise network dedicated to the presentation and enhancement of luxury goods.