The European, Middle Eastern and African Antitrust Review 2017

France: Private Antitrust Litigation

20 July 2016

Just a few years ago private enforcement of antitrust law was not so common in France. But this is rapidly changing. Undoubtedly the discussions on the Directive on Actions for Damages under National Law (Directive)1 and its adoption in 2014 following the introduction of the class action into French law by the Consumer Protection Law No. 2014-344 (the Hamon Law) of 17 March 2014 have encouraged victims to sue undertakings whose abuse of a dominant position or participation in a cartel have resulted in excessive prices or market foreclosure. Moreover, even though member states have until 27 December 2016 to transpose the Directive, its provisions are likely to influence French courts’ rulings. In this respect, in a judgment of 2 November 2015, the Paris Commercial Court expressly referred to article 9 of the Directive – which has not been yet transposed into French law – and decided to stay the proceedings because the decision of the French Competition Authority (FCA) on which the action for damages was grounded was not irrefutably established since the procedure is pending before the French Supreme Court.2 One may regret that compensation of the victim is then delayed.

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