Digital antitrust Introduction The accelerated digitalisation of the economy has brought about fundamental structural changes: the emergence of world-class platforms, which benefit from network effects and access to considerable financial resources, the rapid shift from physical distribution to online sales, the appearance of new products and services based on technological innovation, algorithms, artificial intelligence or…

On 25 November 2020, the French Competition Authority (FCA) announced that it was amending its decision-making practice regarding responses to calls for tenders by subsidiaries of the same group. Up until now, the FCA considered that it was unlawful for subsidiaries of the same group to submit separate tenders in the same public procurement procedure…

On 23 July 2020, the French Competition Authority (FCA or Authority) published new merger control guidelines, which replace the previous guidelines dated 4 July 2013. In the new guidelines, the Authority clarifies and completes (i) the procedural rules and (ii) the rules relating to the substantive examination of a merger.   Key points The new…

I. Introduction Algorithms may raise competition concerns especially when assessing collusive practices. Very often, the term “algorithm” is used improperly. When we imagine the cartels of the future, we are not talking, in fact, about a simple “algorithm”, which in itself is a neutral instrument. Rather, we refer to much more specific techniques for implementing…

With Halloween just past, the French Competition Authority (FCA) is revisiting chainsaw massacre: on October 24, 2018, it adopted a decision imposing a 7 million euros fine on chainsaw manufacturer Stihl for imposing a de facto ban on online sales to its distributors (see press release here). Even more importantly, contrasting with previous French cases, the…

The French Competition Authority (“FCA”) has published the results of its sector-specific inquiry into display online advertising. The 125-page opinion of March 6, 2018, (“Opinion“) identifies potential competition concerns and is likely to trigger individual antitrust investigations by the FCA (and potentially other national competition authorities) in the online advertising sector. Background In May 2016,…

On 8 November 2016, the French Competition Authority (FCA) fined French-based Altice group and its telecommunications subsidiary SFR 80 million euros for the coordination of their commercial behaviour in the period between the acceptance of Altice’s purchase offer of SFR and the FCA’s merger clearance decision. This is the highest fine ever imposed by a…

It is commonly accepted that, pursuant to the principle of intragroup immunity, Article 101 TFEU cannot catch agreements or concerted practices between entities that belong to the same undertaking. Article 101 TFEU requires coordination between at least two undertakings: everything that happens within a single undertaking simply cannot be covered by Article 101 TFEU. Yet,…

It is not uncommon for the law to progress as a consequence of significant discrepancies and disagreements arising between courts and enforcers. This is exactly what may currently be happening to the French rules governing the calculation of fines. One can expect that, once the dust has settled, the calculation methodology applied by the French…