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Bringing Class Actions in French Competition Law: a Debate Only Between French Authorities or Between French and European Authorities?

Author: Jean-Cyril BERMOND

Type: Article

ref: 1200741-56

N0:1 of 2007

Pages: 41-56

The draft bill in favour of consumers should be examined during the first week of February 2007, according to the Minister of Economy.

The debate about the opportunity to bring class actions in our law is of a great importance.

All fields of legal activity are concerned. It is obviously the case of competition law. Most of the time, competition law appears difficult to understand and far from the consumers’ preoccupations. In fact, the main objective of competition authorities and jurisdictions working on this field is to protect consumer’s interests.

Before the parliamentary session of February, it is important to remind opinions given by main authorities.

In the Green Paper about damages actions for breach of antitrust rules, the European Commission made a proposal in order to develop class actions for consumers. The delegation for the European Union of the French Assemblée Nationale rejected firmly such a proposal. The Conseil de la concurrence gave recently an opinion and declared to be in favour of class actions, with all proper reserves.