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Competition Law

The Competition division of Grall & Associés has one of the largest teams in the French market. Our experience working on cases enables us to assist each one of our clients by anticipating the reaction of the competition authorities and by developing the best strategy-be it advice or litigation-to respond in the right way to any complex situation that involves the French and European competition rules.

Anti-competitive practices

The Firm works very actively in the area of anti-competitive practices:

  • Vertical or horizontal agreements and abuse of dominant position,
  • State of economic dependence,
  • Horizontal cooperation agreements,
  • exchange of information between competitors, etc.
  • Assistance and defence before the Competition Authority, the European Commission and the French or European courts of appeal (IPC / ECJ),
  • Providing support in response to the investigative bodies within the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF), the Competition Authority or the European Commission, or other state competition authorities, in close partnership with our colleagues at the Antitrust Alliance network.

Our teams are also involved in the monitoring of competition investigations at all stages:

  • Providing support in response to the investigative bodies within the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF), the Competition Authority or the European Commission, or other state competition authorities, in close partnership with our colleagues at the Antitrust Alliance
  • Coordination of any procedures involving the competition authorities and/or the competent courts of different countries.
  • Filing appeals before the courts of appeal.

Private or public calls for tenders / procurement (subcontracting / co-contracting, ad-hoc consortiums) and application of competition rules: hedging offers, front organisations, failure of subcontracting projects or groups and exchange of strategic information, etc.

Merger control:

  • Notifications to the French and European competition authorities; pre-notifications and monitoring of the procedure in phase I and II,
  • Monitoring of multi-jurisdictional notifications,
  • Assistance in the negotiation of commitments,
  • Monitoring and assistance in the context of any recourse to the courts related to merger ventures, at national and/or European level,
  • Representation of third parties in the context of merger control proceedings involving their competitors, distributors, customers or suppliers.

Government Aid

Compliance & competition audit programmes

The Grall & Associés team assists you in setting up compliance programmes and competition audit programmes.

Restrictive trade practices

The Firm intervenes in cases involving practices that restrict competition, and in particular:

  • Negotiability of prices,
  • Implications of the Sapin II Law
  • Drafting of general terms and conditions, specific or special terms of sale under the Macron law of 6 August 2015 and the Hamon law of 17 March 2014, relating to consumption, and the Economic Modernisation Act (LME) of 4 August 2008,
  • Drafting of annual business plans between suppliers and distributors, including supermarkets and specialised hypermarkets,
  • Drafting of category management agreements,
  • Drafting of commercial cooperation agreements, services agreements (other obligations / separate services), referencing, etc.
  • Drafting of all types of logistics agreements,
  • Application and reminder of invoicing rules

Industry / trade relations

The Firm assists you in monitoring annual trade negotiations:

  • Major food or specialised retailers, supermarkets / large home improvement stores / specialised hypermarkets,
  • Wholesale trade (“B2B”)
  • Specialised trade,
  • Retail business.

Audit of pricing structures / Contracts between suppliers and distributors

Our Competition teams work with you to conduct Audits of Pricing Structures:

  • Prices,
  • Price reductions,
  • General Terms and Conditions / Sales Framework Agreements / Special Sales Terms and Conditions,
  • Annual agreement and trade cooperation agreements,
  • Other services such as SEO, including communication of statistics.

Agriculture and competition

  • Common agricultural policy and competition rules: alignment, adaptation, confrontation or consensus? What legal frameworks?
  • Regulation 1184/2006 – regulation implementing Art 42 TFEU – provides for applicability of the competition rules to the agricultural sector,
  • The impact of Regulation No. 1308/2013 of 17 December 2013 on the common market organisation (CMO),
  • The grouping of supply offered (DO / PDO),
  • The framework laid down by the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernisation Act of 27 July 2010 (“LMAP”) in France: the compulsory contracting of the sales channel (Examples: dairy, sheep, and fruit and vegetables sectors, etc.),
  • The ban on discounts and rebates for fruits and vegetables: any compensation for distributors?
  • Government Aid.