Karine Biancone

KLYB (Montpellier)

Karine Biancone is co-founding partner of KLYB Avocats. Prior to establishing her own law firm she was part of Fidal. She has experience advising clients on European and National Competition Law. She provides legal assistance on matters of anticompetitive practices, mergers, restrictive practices, and on distribution agreement issues. She has published various articles and leads conferences on competition and distribution law subjects. Karine graduated from the Law School of the University of Montpellier (DEA Contrats d’affaires).

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KLYB (Montpellier)


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Karine Biancone Private enforcement: The Commercial Court of Lyon rejects the claim for compensation due to the lack of demonstration of a causal link between the agreement on gross truck prices and the alleged additional cost on net prices (Colas / Man, Daimler ; Iveco ; Volvo / Renault ; DAF)


Facts. The Commercial Court of Lyon has just rendered the first judgment for anti-competitive practices in the so-called "truck cartel" case. It will be recalled that the European Commission, by two decisions, one of July 19, 2016 and the other dated December 27, 2017 specifically concerning (...)

Karine Biancone Categorical conditions of sale: The French Supreme Court sanctions a laboratory for non-communication of the general sales conditions having communicated but refused to apply its pharmacy conditions to a purchase grouping structure (Coopération pharmaceutique française / Mon Courtier en pharmacie ; Sagitta Pharma)


Facts. Purchasing group structures (SRA) and pharmaceutical purchasing groups (CAP) were created by the legislator in order to develop direct sales by pharmaceutical companies to pharmacies, with the objective of putting an end to illicit retrocession practices between pharmacies, while at the (...)

Karine Biancone Distribution network: The French Civil Supreme Court reaffirms the franchisor’s right not to renew the contract and to freely reorganize its distribution network (H3M Immo / Foncia)


This article was first published in Lettre de la distribution published by the Centre du Droit de l’Entreprise of the University of Montpellier. Facts. A franchisee entered into a franchise agreement with Foncia Franchise for a period of 7 years, renewable by tacit agreement, in order to (...)

Karine Biancone Resale price fixing: The French Competition Authority decides that recommended retail prices are lawful despite being applied by resellers when the supplier don’t monitor the prices (Kärcher)


Faits. Les services d’instructions reprochaient à la société Kärcher SAS (ci-après, « Kärcher ») d’avoir mis en œuvre, entre 2009 et 2011, des pratiques visant à imposer des prix de revente à l’ensemble de ses distributeurs. Il a été constaté que Kärcher communiquait à ses distributeurs des (...)

Karine Biancone Concerted practice: The French Supreme Court confirms that a company having participated in a single meeting with an anti-competitive object, not followed by a public distancing, is presumed to have participated in the cartel until the last invitation is sent (Goodmills Deutschland / Grands moulins de Paris…)


In the "bagged flour" case, the Competition Authority had sanctioned several cartel practices, including the limitation of flour imports between France and Germany (grievance no. 1 of decision no. 12-D-09 of March 13, 2012). The Court of Appeal had essentially confirmed the decision (Paris, 4 (...)

Karine Biancone Significant imbalance: The Paris Commercial Court analyses a franchising contract in the fast food sector regarding the « significant imbalance in the parties’ rights and obligations » pursuant to former article L. 442-6, I., 2° of the Commercial code (new L. 442-1, I., 2°) (DGCCRF / Subway)


Facts. In a sector, that of franchising, where the law on anti-competitive practices recognises the legality of restrictive clauses intended to maintain the common identity and reputation of the network, the law on practices restricting competition considers as suspect the common contractual (...)

Karine Biancone Online distribution: The French Competition Authority releases Lego’s proposal for commitments concerning the amendement of its pricing policy for online resellers (Lego)


In view of the growing share of online sales in the distribution of products and services, the CCLA shows its determination to control tariff and non-tariff restrictions put in place by manufacturers and their distributor customers. This case is an interesting illustration of this in practice (...)

Karine Biancone Franchising: The Limoges Court of Appeal rejects an application for annulment of a franchise contract for error on profitability (M.G.M.T. / La Pataterie Développement)


Facts. As part of a project to join the "La Pataterie" franchise, an entrepreneur who had been, in a personal capacity, manager of a restaurant and then director of a MACDonald’s for 7 years, had met three "La Pataterie" franchisees and participated in a franchise discovery day, and had been (...)

Karine Biancone Non-competition clause: The Paris Court of Appeal interprets a non-competition clause included in a partnership concluded between central purchasing bodies (Club, Mr Bricolage / Inedis Referencia)


Facts. Two listing centres, one of which brings together members specialising in the garden centre-animal sector (the "Centrale jardinerie"), and the other in the DIY sector (the "Centrale bricolage"), decide to join forces by signing a three-year contract, with the aim of cooperating in order (...)

Karine Biancone Restriction by the object: Advocate General Bobek proposes to the European Court of Justice a method for the determination of restriction of competition by object (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal / Budapest Bank)


The Hungarian Supreme Court referred questions to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling in a case concerning the setting of a multilateral interchange fee (MIF) paid by acquiring banks to credit card issuing banks, between 22 banks and the credit card companies, Mastercard Europe SA and Visa Europe (...)

Karine Biancone General conditions of sale: The Paris Court of Appeal reviews the legality of the general conditions of sales by client categories’ criteria and their implementation (Pyxis Pharma / Cooper)


The Cooper Company (hereinafter "Cooper") markets pharmaceutical specialties. It had constructed a categorical pricing policy that was more advantageous for dispensing pharmacies and their groupings than for wholesalers. Pyxis Pharma (’Pyxis’), which has the status of a purchasing grouping (...)

Karine Biancone Franchise: The French Civil Supreme Court considers that the obligation of contractual accountability of a central contracting agency does not give way to business secrecy (Slad / Prodirest)


A company (hereinafter the "Affiliate") has entered into an affiliation agreement with a central purchasing office (hereinafter the "Office"), expressly mandating it to negotiate on its behalf the terms and conditions of purchases from suppliers of food products, to communicate these terms and (...)

Karine Biancone Selective distribution:The Paris Court of Appeal rules on a case of termination of a distribution contract because of the failure to complete the non-resale provision to an out-network reseller (NDP / Automobiles Peugeot)


Open-ended dealership agreements will be signed in 2011 between N (dealer) and Automobiles Peugeot (grantor) for the distribution and after-sales service of Peugeot vehicles from the Paris (17th), Asnières, Chambly and Saint-Brie sites. They provided for incentive bonuses (relating to the rate (...)

Karine Biancone Exclusive distribution: The Reims Court of Appeal considers that the victim of vertical restrictions of competition has to demonstrate that its author escape the exemption regulation (D. / Daniel B.)


In a case in which a tobacconist had sold his business without imposing on his purchaser the continuation of a contract for the supply of drinks concluded for 5 years, and who was assigned in payment of a termination indemnity by his supplier, the Court of Appeal of Reims ruled that "it (...)

Karine Biancone Selective distribution: The Paris Court or appeal issues a stay of execution judgement relative to the French Competition Authority decision ordering the remove of internet provision of “product hand over” prohibiting de facto internet sales (Stihl)


By Decision No 18-D-23 of 24 October 2018, the ADLC had penalised companies in the Stihl group (hereinafter Stihl), which market chainsaws and other brushcutters, for having included in their selective distribution contracts a clause requiring the distributor to hand-deliver the product to the (...)

Karine Biancone Franchise: The Paris Court of Appeal considers the franchise contract void for lack of consent due to the franchisor’s breach of its legal obligations of precontractual information (A.D.A, EDA, ADA Services / Chris & Tif)


The Pre-Contractual Disclosure Document (PCD), which is an indispensable prerequisite for the conclusion of a franchise agreement, has always given rise to an abundance of case law. The judgment under comment deals with the obligation to provide the PID in the event of renewal of the contract (...)

Karine Biancone Calculation of sanctions : The French Competition Authority plays spoilsport in financial penalties and mitigating circumstances for "single-product" companies (Graham & Brown)


Financial penalties and mitigating circumstances for "single-product" companies: when the ADLC plays the spoilsport* In the process of individualizing the fine, the ADLC may reduce the amount of the fine to take into account the fact that the undertaking concerned conducts most of its (...)

Karine Biancone Selective distribution: The General Court of the European Union validates selective repair systems in the Swiss watch sector under the competition rules (CEAHR)


The General Court of the European Union validates selective repair systems in the Swiss watch sector with regard to the competition rules* The Confédération Européenne des Associations d’Horlogers-Réparateurs (CEAHR), sought the annulment of the Commission’s decision of 29 July 2014 having (...)

Karine Biancone Denigration: The French Supreme Court confirms an abuse of dominant position by denigration of a company in the dairy products sector for having denounced the regulatory non-compliance of one of its competitors (SNYL / Socrema / Antilles Glaces)


Abuse of dominant position and denigration by denouncing a regulatory non-compliance in the dairy products sector* Denigration, classically considered from the angle of unfair competition, is increasingly apprehended by competition law under the prism of abuse of dominant position (C. com., (...)

Karine Biancone Company group: The Court of Justice of the European Union refuses to extend the benefit of the limitation period acquired by the parent company to its subsidiaries (Akzo noble)


Anti-competitive practice: the personal nature of the parent company’s liability and the refusal to extend the benefit of the statute of limitations to its subsidiaries* Competition law considers "the undertaking", a concept that is not confused with that of legal personality (CJEU 20 Jan. (...)

Karine Biancone Payment deadlines: The CPEC specifies the starting point for payment periods between professionals as being in principle the date of issue of the invoice, which may be modulated according to the incoterms


Contractual adjustment of the starting point for payment periods between professionals in the light of two opinions issued by the CEPC* Although the fight against late payment has been a major concern of successive governments since the LME Act of 4 August 2008, it has to be said that the (...)

Karine Biancone Exemption: The ECJ rules that in determining whether a restraint on parallel trade contributes to technical or economic progress within the meaning of Art. 101§3 of the EU Treaty, “efficiency losses” must be weighed against “efficiency gains” (GlaxoSmithKline)


Court of Justice of the European Communities, 6 October 2009, Joined Cases C-501/06 P, C-513/06 P, C-515/06 P and C-519/06 P Facts Under the former Council Regulation No 17, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) notified to the European Commission, and then sent to its Spanish wholesalers, on 6 March (...)

Dominique Ferré, Karine Biancone Minister’s inquiries: The Government sets up the provisions relating to the handling of ministerial inquiries by the Rapporteur general of the French Competition Council


Decree No. 2009-311 of 20 March 2009 Pursuant to Article L. 450-5 of the French Commercial Code, as amended by the order of November 13, 2008, the Decree relating to "the time limits available to the Competition Authority to take the lead in the investigations requested by the Minister of (...)

Dominique Ferré, Karine Biancone Exclusionary practices : The European Commission publishes its "guidance" on the application of the EC Treaty rules against abuses of dominant positions (Art. 82) to exclusionary practices by dominant undertakings


Commission Communication 2009/C 45/02 on guidance on the Commission’s priorities for the application of Article 82 of the EC Treaty to abusive exclusionary conduct by dominant undertakings Notice 2009/C 45/02 sets out the European Commission’s guidance on its priorities in applying EC Treaty (...)

Dominique Ferré, Karine Biancone Exclusivity provisions: The Paris Court of Appeal decides on the legality of exclusivity provisions on the mobil phone services market (Orange / Apple / France Télécom)


CA Paris, February 4, 2009, Apple Sales International, Apple Inc, France Telecom SA, Orange France SA v/ Bouygues Telecom SA Facts The Apple company, already at the origin of the IPod, a highly successful MP3 player, and the online music store Itunes Music Store, has launched a mobile (...)

Dominique Ferré, Karine Biancone Sanctions : The French Competition Council applies the settlement procedure to an anticompetitive cartel on a local industrial cleaning market (Entretien courant des locaux)


Competition Council, Decision No. 8-D-13, 11 June 2008, on practices in the routine maintenance of premises Facts An HLM office had organised a call for tenders for the cleaning of the common areas of the buildings. Two companies were accused of having agreed on the price and structure of (...)

Karine Biancone Leniency: The French Competition Council applies for the third time the leniency procedure and sanctions an anticompetitive cartel in the production of plywood (Production du contreplaqué)


Competition Council, Decision No. 08-D-12, 21 May 2008, concerning practices in the plywood production sector. Facts Plywood manufacturers had established a common pricing structure to determine the rates charged by each manufacturer for the marketing of their products, with the (...)

Karine Biancone Exclusive control of a company: The French Minister of Economy rules that a company’s minority shareholder holds exclusive control of that company if, given the other shareholders’ positions, the voting structure and the opposition rate required to countervail its position in decisions to be made at general meetings, it is virtually certain to obtain a majority at such meetings (Novatrans / SNCF Participations)


Order of Minister of Economy, Finance and Employment of 28 January 2008 on the absence of notification of a concentration consisting of a control Facts In October and November 2006, a company purchased securities of a company in which it was previously a minority shareholder. At that time, (...)

Karine Biancone Non-contest proceedings: The French Competition Council grants a reduction of fine while undertakings establish an internal procedure for reporting violations of competition rules (Secteur de la location-entretien du linge)


Competition Council, Decision No. 07-D-21, 26 June 2007, Linen rental and maintenance sector The Competition Council has sanctioned companies in the linen rental and maintenance sector for having implemented an anti-competitive agreement vis-à-vis their "key account" customers. These (...)

Karine Biancone Concentration - Competence: The Competition Council decides on its competence to rule on the regularity of a divestiture procedure imposed by a Minister’s order authorizing a concentration operation (Finegee / Heineken)


Conseil de la concurrence, 20 October 2006, decision n°06-D-31, Société Finegee c/ groupe Heineken France Boissons Facts The Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance had authorised a concentration in the beer distribution sector, subject to the notifying party divesting three of its (...)

Karine Biancone Professional organizations: The French Competition Council decides that a professional organization that engages in anticompetitive practices may be subjected to fines that are proportional to its members’ financial capacities (Marseilles Taxis)


Facts In France, driving a taxi is subject to the possession of a professional licence. This license can be : Issued free of charge by a local authority (Mayor or Prefect), which "has several disadvantages [such as] an often very long [waiting list or the fact that] the legislation (...)

Karine Biancone Concentration: The Council of State decides on the admissibility of a request for interim relief tending to obtain the suspension of the ministerial authorization of a concentration operation (Société France Antilles)


Conseil d’Etat, Order of 25 July 2006, No. 294897, Société France Antilles. Facts On 17 May 2006, the Minister of the Economy authorised, pursuant to article L. 430-5 of the French Commercial Code, the Est Républicain group to acquire from Socpresse, in partnership with Banque Fédérative (...)

Karine Biancone Franchise - Precontractual information: The Paris Court of Appeal sanctions the franchiser who provided to his franchisee provisions of forecasts, presented as an element of the know-how, clearly mistaken (De Neuville/Seznec)


Paris Court of Appeal, 5th Chamber, Section A, February 1, 2006, Société De Neuville v. SARL Seznec Facts In 1992, Société de confiserie-chocolaterie De Neuville entered into a franchise agreement for the distribution of its products with the company Seznec. In 1998, the franchisee, (...)

Karine Biancone Guidelines: The DGCCRF publishes guidelines on merger control


Guidelines on Merger Control, 15 July 2005 The DGCCRF published its guidelines on merger control on 15 July. These guidelines analyse not only the substantive rules applicable in this area, but also the procedural rules. To this end, the DGCCRF has drawn on the decision-making practice of (...)

Karine Biancone Transaction: The Court of Cassation validates the Competition Council reasoning in the case of a cumulative implementation of the transaction procedure and the simplified procedure (Pompes funèbres)


Court of Cassation, Opinion No. 0050006, 11 July 2005 Facts Following a complaint lodged by Pompes funérabres privées marbrerie Lamotte et fils against practices implemented in the Val de Marne by Pompes funérabres générales, now O.G.F., the Competition Council (the Council) notified the (...)

Karine Biancone Abuse of dominance - Undertakings: The French Competition Council accepts commitments intended to solve an abuse of dominance of intellectual property rights in the publishing industry Philatelic (Yvert & Tellier)


Competition Council, Decision No. 05-S-02 of March 18, 2005, Yvert & Tellier Facts Yvert & Tellier, a publisher of stamp quotation catalogues, has developed a numbering system that acts as a de facto standard for the quotation and trading of stamps. In November 2004, a (...)

Karine Biancone The settlement procedure before the French Competition Council


Since 1996, the European Commission has granted immunity or conditional reductions of fines to companies which, by providing information, have facilitated the Commission’s detection and investigation of violations of the competition rules. The cooperation of the companies concerned with the (...)

Karine Biancone Transaction: The French Competition Council rules that the postal incumbent has abused of its dominant position but grants 90 % fine discount taking account of the transaction procedure (La Poste)


Conseil de la concurrence, Decision No. 04-D-65 of 30 November 2004 concerning practices implemented by La Poste in the context of its commercial contract. Facts On 10 April 2001, the Minister of the Economy and Finance referred the matter to the Competition Council, which had issued (...)

Dominique Ferré, Karine Biancone Resale price maintenance: The French Competition Council sanctions resale price maintenance and refers the case to the Prosecutor for criminal proceedings rules (Boulangerie de la Marne)


Faits La réduction du temps de travail aux trente-cinq heures ayant entraîné une augmentation des charges professionnelles supportées par les boulangers, le président de la Fédération départementale de la boulangerie de la Marne a alors incité, lors d’une assemblée générale le 23 avril 2001 (...)


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