The French Competition Authority (FCA) found that Korean car manufacturer, Hyundai did not fall foul of competition rules for having terminated or refused to reappoint three car garages as car repairers.
The garages complained to the FCA for being excluded from Hyundai’s network of authorized garage repairers.
The FCA found that the qualitative criteria established by Hyundai to integrate the network of authorised repairers were in line with European law.
The firm has advised other automotive brands in a similar case in the past, given the grey areas in the law regarding the obligation to automatically renew selective distribution agreements with car repairers.
Joseph Vogel commented: “This is an important decision as it recognizes that several refusals to entry into a network are not equivalent to a foreclosure strategy and will provide more freedom and scope for selective distribution networks to select their repairers. The next step will be to recognize clearly that a refusal to authorize a dealer is a unilateral act and is not subject to the law on anticompetitive agreements in accordance with the European Bayer and Volkswagen case law on the notion of anticompetitive agreement”.
Hyundai was represented by Vogel & Vogel, with a team led by partner Joseph Vogel and assisted by Pétronille Noel.