COMPETITION • FRENCH LAW • PRICE TRANSPARENCY
Article L. 441-4 of the Commercial Code defines wholesaler as “all natural or legal person who, for professional purposes, buys products from one or more suppliers and resells them, mainly, to other merchants, wholesalers or retailers, processors or any other professional who purchases its supplies for the needs of its business”. It also regards wholesalers’ central purchasing or listing bodies as wholesalers but expressly excludes undertakings or groups of natural or legal persons operating, directly or indirectly, one or more retail stores or operating in the distribution sector as purchasing or listing centers for retail companies.
The Macron Law had required wholesalers to conclude a written agreement with suppliers, but allowed them to take advantage of simplified formalities compared to the ordinary law agreement (former Article L. 441-7-1). The Ordinance of 24 April 2019 adds wholesalers to the ordinary law written agreement rule, which is now simpler, and expressly excludes them from the written agreement requirement specific to consumer goods (Art. L. 441-4).