For the second time in one month, the French Competition
Authority (the "Authority") has launched investigations
into the mass retail distribution sector.
At the end of February, the Authority decided to examine the
contractual provisions between affiliated retailers and the
companies at the head of their distribution network, as well as the
policy of distribution groups owning unused commercial real estate
(see Community Week
issue 461). This investigation is ongoing.
The Authority now intends to focus on "category
management" contracts, under which a supplier (the
"category captain") gives commercial advice to one or
more of its distributors concerning a specific category of
In practice, the advice from the category captain will vary
depending on the contract. In some cases, it may only entail
reviewing the quality and presentation of the products, whereas in
others the category captain may influence the distributor's
commercial strategy, such as its pricing policy, the products'
location, the introduction of new products, etc.
"Category management" contracts may therefore raise
competition issues: the category captain and its distributors may
exchange strategic information, and the category captain may also
influence its distributors and prevent them from choosing its
In this respect, the Authority now intends to review the various
existing agreements between category captains and distributors, the
parties' motivation to enter into such contracts and the
influence of the category captain on distributors. It will also
examine the criteria for being a category captain, the possibility
for them to advise various distributors and the effect of such
contracts on the commercial strategy of the parties.
To view Community Week, Issue 464 – 26 March 2010 in
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
By 27 December 2016, the Croatian Parliament needs to implement the Directive 2014/104/EU on antitrust damages actions, which is expected to streamline the procedure for private individuals and businesses to sue for damages...
The European Commission recently published its preliminary report on the E-commerce Sector Inquiry, identifying potential competition concerns in cross-border e-commerce of digital content and consumer goods.
The German government has recently published a bill that would significantly amend the criteria for determining whether an M&A transaction is subject to German merger control.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).