Unilateral conduct

Unilateral conduct by non-dominant firms

Are there any rules applying to the unilateral conduct of non-dominant firms?

French law provides several rules applying to the unilateral conduct of non-dominant firms, which include the prohibition of:

  • the abusive exploitation of the state of economic dependency of a client or supplier if it is likely to affect the functioning or the structure of competition (article L420-2, paragraph 2 of the FCC);
  • price offers or selling prices to consumers that are excessively low compared with production, processing and marketing costs if they have as an object or may have as an effect to eliminate an undertaking or one of its products from the market or to prevent it from accessing a market (article L420-5 of the FCC) and the resale of a product in the same condition at a lower price than its effective purchase price (article 442-2 of the FCC); and
  • the imposition of a minimum resale price or trade margin (article L442-5 of the FCC).

Moreover, the liability of an undertaking may be engaged in cases of restrictive practices such as obtaining from a commercial partner any advantage that is clearly disproportionate compared with the value of the service provided or obviously abusive terms concerning prices or sale conditions under threat of a brutal termination of their business relationships (a list of these restrictive practices appears in article L442-6 of the FCC).