On February 27, 2024, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) published its roadmap for 2024-2025 as every year,[1] outlining its enforcement priorities for the year ahead.  The FCA emphasized the need to take action in the same key areas of interest as in 2023[2]: (i) the digital economy, (ii) sustainability and the ecological transition, and (iii) the protection of purchasing power. 

On December 15, 2023, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) published its Revised Leniency Guidelines, which repealed and replaced the 2015 guidelines.[1]  The Revised Leniency Guidelines were adopted as part of the implementation of the “DDADUE” law,[2] the ECN+ directive,[3] and the “Damages” directive.[4]  They aim to provide greater legal certainty for leniency applicants and modernize the leniency application procedure.

On September 6, 2023, the French Supreme Court (“Cour de cassation) upheld the Paris Court of Appeal’s judgment which had dismissed Carrefour’s damage claim against Vania Expansion (“Vania”) [1] following Vania’s participation in the home and personal care cartel.[2]  The French Cour de cassation noted that it is up to the alleged victim to demonstrate that it has not passed on the overcharge to consumers.

On May 9, 2023, the Conseil d’Etat clarified how the start date of the limitation period applicable to a public entity claiming damages for anticompetitive practices should be determined in a case where the management bodies of that public entity took part in such practices, confirming that the follow-on actions brought by the Île-de-France region following an illegal market sharing agreement was not time-barred. [1]  The Conseil d’Etat held that in the event that the damage suffered by the public entity resulted from practices in which its governing bodies participated, the limitation period could only run from the date on which new governing bodies, not involved in the anticompetitive practices, had acquired sufficient certainty as to the extent of these practices.

On January 31, 2023, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) presented an interactive network graph tool on its website that identifies references made in FCA antitrust publications (such as decisions, opinions and interim measures published between 2009 2021) to its other publications. The visualization tool (available at: https://sen-codex.dev/) represents these references in the form of a graph interconnecting FCA’s publications with one another.

On December 7, 2022, the French Supreme Court (“Cour de cassation”) upheld the Paris Court of Appeal’s judgment dismissing Concurrence’s damage claim brought against Samsung Electronics France (“Samsung”).[1] Concurrence claimed that Samsung had abruptly terminated their long- standing commercial relationship.

Background

On July 13, 2022, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) published an interim document for public consultation on competition in the cloud computing sector as part of a sector inquiry launched in January 2022.[1]  The FCA’s investigation seeks to delineate the relevant markets for cloud computing services, identify actors that may enjoy “particular positions”[2] on the market, and assess practices that could hinder competition on the merits in an industry projected to expand in France by 14% annually to reach €27 billion by 2025.[3]  The consultation closed on September 19, 2022, and the FCA has announced its final conclusions for early 2023.[4]