On October 18, 2023, the French Cour de cassation upheld the Paris Court of Appeals’ ruling finding that the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) had rightly calculated the amount of the fine imposed on L’Oréal in 2014 for its alleged involvement in a cartel in the personal care products industry.[1] The French Cour de cassation confirmed that the sales of a subsidiary that did not itself participate in the infringement can be included in the calculation of the fine if these sales have been affected by the infringement sanctioned.

On October 12, 2023, the French Competition Authority (the “FCA”) published its Opinion on meal vouchers in response to the Government’s referral under Article L. 462-1 of the French Commercial Code.[1]  The FCA considered that the pricing cap envisaged by the government does not constitute the most appropriate response to market failures, i.e., the existence of entry barriers for potential new market entrants and the monopoly held by the four incumbent issuers. Therefore, the FCA issued five recommendations to address such failures.

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.

In a ruling dated May 4, 2023[1], the French Competition Authority (the “FCA”) ordered interim measures against Meta following a complaint by Adloox, in light of suspicions that Meta was abusing its dominant position on the market for online advertising by imposing unfair conditions for accessing its ecosystem, thereby causing serious and immediate harm to both Adloox and other independent ad verification service providers.  These interim measures are imposed pending a decision on the merits of the case.  

On April 20, 2023, the French Competition Authority (the “FCA”) issued an opinion on three articles of an incoming French law aimed at securing and regulating the digital space (the “French draft legislation”), pending the coming into force of EU-wide rules (the “European Data Act”).[1]  

On January 26, 2022, the Criminal Chamber of the French Cour de cassation (the French Supreme Court) has ruled for the first time that companies’ internal documents summarizing or forwarding outside counsel’s legal advice in connection with anticipated litigation are protected by the French legal privilege (secret professionnel).  The French case law is therefore gradually moving closer to the EU one.

On January 26, 2022, the Criminal Chamber of the French Cour de cassation (the French Supreme Court) has ruled for the first time that companies’ internal documents summarizing or forwarding outside counsel’s legal advice in connection with anticipated litigation are protected by the French legal privilege (secret professionnel).  The French case law is therefore gradually moving closer to the EU one.