2 December 2019

Action in unfair competition: Fault
Referring in promotions to a car seat using the descriptive and laudatory terms “180° rotatable seat for easy installation of the child” and “revolutionary swivel car seat!” is not a fault but is standard language in promotions of technical products.
CA Paris, 15 November 2019, LawLex201900001404JBJ

Action in unfair competition: Jurisdiction of interim applications judge
An interim ex parte order is sufficiently reasoned when it refers to the nature of the acts of unfair competition expressly denounced in the application and mentions a risk of degradation and destruction of evidence as well as the need for a surprise effect to prescribe measures on the basis of Article 145 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
Court of Cassation, 2nd civil chamber, 14 November 2019, LawLex201900001420JBJ

Unfair terms between professionals: Subjection to
The Minister of the Economy does not show that the suppliers were “subjected” to a significant imbalance by producing only five contracts pre-drafted by the distributor, without demonstrating that the clauses at issue constitute an intangible component of those contracts and have not been the subject of any effective negotiation.
Court of Cassation, commercial chamber, 20 November 2019, LawLex201900001423JBJ

Sudden termination of established commercial relationship: Serious breach
The breach by a business agent of his contractual obligations is sufficiently serious when it is likely to engage his client’s liability vis-à-vis the US federal authorities.
Court of Cassation, commercial chamber, 20 November 2019, LawLex201900001427JBJ
Sudden termination of established commercial relationship: Statutory notice period
Article L. 442-1, II (former Article L. 442-6, I, 5°), of the Commercial Code applies to the termination of a management-agency contract insofar as Article L. 146-4 of the code does not stipulate any notice period.
Court of Cassation, commercial chamber, 20 November 2019, LawLex201900001424JBJ

Actions available for abuse of dependence: Jurisdiction clause
The French court hearing an action for sudden termination of established commercial relationship may not declare itself competent when the supplier’s general terms and conditions of sale include a clause attributing jurisdiction to the court in Cologne, the existence of which the distributor cannot claim to be unaware, since, for more than fifteen years, it paid invoices that clearly referred to those terms and their availability on request.
Court of Cassation, 1st civil chamber, 20 November 2019, LawLex201900001428JBJ

Anticompetitive agreements: Concerted action
The refusal of to approve a repairer does not constitute an agreement when the existence of an agreement between the head of the network and the approved candidate with the aim of conferring an absolute monopoly on the candidate on the zone has not been established.
CA Paris, 27 November 2019, LawLex201900001441JB

Civil sanctions: Damages
The limitation period for the action cannot run from the date on which the applicant joined the proceedings as civil party, since that act of procedure only reflects mere suspicions, but runs from the date the Competition Authority, decision which enables him to acquire sufficiently accurate knowledge of the extent of the anticompetitive practices of which he was the victim.
Council of State, 22 November 2019, LawLex201900001447JBJ

Geographic market: National market
The market for energy performance certificates (EPCs) has a national dimension as EPCs were set up by the national authorities, they are based on an obligation to achieve energy savings imposed at national level and they can only be obtained under this scheme in France.
Competition Authority, 22 October 2019, LawLex201900001437JBJ

Geographic market: Dual dimension
For personal banking services, the conditions of competition in metropolitan France are not homogeneous, particularly in view of the important role held in the French banking system by mutual and cooperative networks, the differences in location between banking groups, the adaptation of business strategies to the local competitive context and of the existence of regional banks, so that the competitive analysis was carried out at both national and local level, as the Authority’s usual practice is to select, for the latter level, isochronous zones of a radius corresponding to a journey time of about 20 minutes by car around a municipality where the target bank branch is located.
Competition Authority, 22 October 2019, LawLex201900001437JBJ