On 7 April 2010, the French Court of cassation ("the
Court") issued a decision upholding a Paris Court of
Appeal's judgment fining the mobile operators, SFR and Bouygues
Télécom, for unlawful exchange of
information. The Court has however asked the Paris Court of Appeal
to re-examine the fine imposed on Orange, the third French mobile
operator, who was also involved in the unlawful exchange of
In 2005, the French Competition Council fined all three mobile
operators for exchanging information and for entering into an
agreement to stabilise their respective market shares (see
Community Week issue 253 ). The Paris Court of Appeal
confirmed this decision in 2006 (see Community Week issue 305 ). However, in 2007, the Court ruled
that the Paris Court of Appeal had insufficiently reasoned its
judgment on the unlawful exchange of information as it did not
demonstrate that the exchange had an anticompetitive effect (see
Community Week issue 330 ).
On 11 March 2009, the Paris Court of Appeal re-examined its
findings and supplied more details about the anticompetitive effect
of the exchange of information before concluding that the exchange
had led to increased transparency in the market and revealed the
respective strategies of the three mobile operators allowing them
to reduce competition in the mobile telephone market (see Community
Week issue 415 ).
In its latest decision, the Court confirmed the €16 and
€35 million fines imposed on Bouygues
Télécom and SFR respectively, but asked the
Paris Court of Appeal to re-examine the €41 million fine
imposed on Orange.
The Court felt that the Paris Court of Appeal had failed to
demonstrate the damage caused to the economy by Orange through its
participation in the unlawful exchanges of information. It asserted
that damage to the economy cannot be presumed in the case of a
cartel but rather it must be assessed according to the size of the
market, the fact that all of the operators active in the mobile
telephone market participated in the exchange of information, as
well as the weak price sensitivity of the mobile telephone market.
The last element of assessment was missing in the Paris Court of
The next step is therefore for the Paris Court of Appeal to
re-examine the fine imposed on Orange.
To view Community Week, Issue 466 - 9 April 2010 in full,
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 EU's one-stop shop principle for concentrations faces an uncertain future following for the UK's Brexit decision. Several scenarios could play out...
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).