On 15 April 2010, the Paris Court of Appeal (the
"Court") confirmed the reduction of fines imposed on two
French cement manufacturers for unlawful vertical agreements in the
sector of cement supply and distribution in Corsica. The Court also
concluded there was no collective abuse of a dominant position.
In 2007, the French Competition Council (the
"Council") - the former French Competition Authority,
imposed a €25 million fine on the two French cement
manufacturers, Lafarge and Vicat, for entering into an agreement to
obtain exclusive supply to Corsican distributors and for
collectively abusing their dominant position by granting
anticompetitive discounts to any Corsican distributor which agreed
not to import their competitors' cement.
In 2008, the Court found that there was only a limited damage to
the economy and reduced the fine from €25 million to
€14.5 million. In 2009, the French Court of cassation
confirmed the cartel but ordered the Court to re-examine the
collective abuse of a dominant position for lack of legal
The French Court of cassation ruled that a collective dominant
position requires that Lafarge and Vicat are able to cut themselves
off from competition independently from any cartel.
On 15 April 2010, the Court followed the French Court of
cassation's ruling and concluded in this case that a finding of
collective abuse of a dominant position is inconsistent with a
finding of practices infringing cartel rules (i.e. there cannot be
an ability to act independently and a need to enter into unlawful
The Court held there was no collective abuse of a dominant
position and confirmed the fine it had previously imposed in
To view Community Week, Issue 468 - 23 April 2010 in full,
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