On 5 August 2015, the French Constitutional Council upheld most
of the provisions of the law on growth, economic activity and
equality of economic opportunities (the so-called "Macron
law") adopted by the French Parliament on 10 July 2015 (see
VBB on Competition Law, Volume 2015, No. 7, available at
www.vbb.com). However, two significant provisions introducing
changes to the French competition law regime were found to be
First, the new procedure on structural injunctions in the retail
sector was found to be in breach of both the right of property and
the freedom to pursue commercial activities. Under this procedure,
the French Competition Authority ("FCA") was given the
power to impose structural measures on an undertaking (or a group
of undertakings) which operates one or several retail businesses
and holds a dominant position (with a market share exceeding 50%)
if the FCA finds that this situation leads to excessive market
concentration. According to the Constitutional Council, this new
power granted to the FCA was not proportionate to the objectives of
consumer protection and the safeguard of economic public order.
Second, the provision intended to increase the FCA agents'
powers by granting them access to any data processed and stored by
telecommunication operators, including telephone bills, was found
in breach of the French Constitution. In particular, the
Constitutional Council ruled that the provision did not include
sufficient guarantees to protect the right to privacy.
The remaining provisions of the Macron law related to the reform
of the French competition law regime examined by the Constitutional
Council were found to be in line with the Constitution, and the law
entered into force on 7 August 2015 after its promulgation by the
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