The Paris Court of Appeal raps the French Competition Authority’s knuckles and annuls the sanctions against endive producers
The Paris Court of Appeal has just overturned all the provisions of the French Competition Authority’s decision in the matter of endive producers, an event which is sufficiently rare to be eye-catching.
As a reminder, in 2012 the authority sanctioned a series of practices implemented by some 10 endive producer organisations and seven representative organisations. At the time, to conclude at the existence of an anti-competitive agreement involving those producers and organisations, and more specifically a single, complex and continuous infringement, the authority had identified an elaborate organised system whose sole objective was to control the prices of the endives sold by the producers to wholesalers and distributors. According to the authority, these practices consisted of the regular circulation of minimum price instructions for each type of endive, issuing guidelines about promotional offers, managing the volumes of endives put on sale and exchanging information about the prices practised by the producers.
However, the Court of Appeal noted that it had not been conclusively demonstrated that the implicated organisations had overstepped the boundaries of their legal missions in the general framework of the Common Agricultural Policy…
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