France's commercial code prohibits arrangements between companies to hinder, restrict or distort open competition in a given market.
Abusing a dominant position
The commercial code also prohibits anti-competitive abuses or dominant positions of businesses.
Strict provisions govern company mergers.
Other types of unfair competition
Abuse of economic dependence is when a business profits unfairly from the dependent status of a client or supplier. The commercial code prohibits this practice.
Any offender responsible for discriminatory practice must pay compensation for damage caused.
Price-fixing is illegal.
Article L121-1 of the consumer code describes the following as deceptive trading practices:
- creating confusion with another good or service, trademark, trading name or other defining hallmark of a competitive product or service;
- practices based on false allegations, indications or presentations or that are likely to mislead people about the existence, availability, nature or characteristics of a product or service;
- practices omitting or concealing important information or presenting it ambiguously.
National competition authorities
The commercial practices review panel monitors relationships between producers, suppliers and retailers. It examines commercial and advertising documents, contracts between retailers and suppliers, and any practices likely to be regarded as abusive in a commercial relationship. Businesses can approach the panel by contacting its chairperson in writing.
France's general directorate for competition policy, consumer affairs and fraud control (DGCCRF) is tasked with combating anti-competitive business practices.
The competition council champions consumer protection and the open market. It specialises in dealing with anti-competitive practices and assessing how markets are operating.
Strict provisions govern company mergers
France's general directorate for competition policy, consumer affairs and fraud control has an online form for notifying of mergers to the economy, finance and employment ministry.
The general directorate for competition policy, consumer affairs and fraud control offers numerous business factsheets on competition and consumer affairs.