Fidal (Paris)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc

Fidal (Paris)
Lawyer (Partner)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc joined Fidal in 1991 in the Competition and Distribution Department. She is currently partner. She advices on Competition, Distribution and Contract Law in a wide scope of areas. In particular, she has extensive knowledge of notifying mergers, acquisition and restructuring processes to the French competition administrations. She acts daily with files connected with agreements and abuse of dominant position, and this from the stage of preliminary appraisal through competition investigations to the litigation stage before the competition administrations. She has also developed extensive working experience in matters related to the strategy and the setting up distribution networks (franchise, selective or exclusive distribution) or broker networks (sales agents, commission salesmen). Marie graduated from the University of Paris II - Assas (DEA General Private Law) and from the University of Montpellier (DESS Business Law - DJCE).

Linked authors

Jules Verne University of Picardie (Amiens)
Fidal (Lyon)
Fidal (Paris)
Fidal (Lille)
Fidal (Paris)


97674 Review

Alain Ronzano, Alexandre Glatz, Anne-Sophie Bodin, Camille Paulhac, Marie Koehler de Montblanc, Michaël Cousin, Odile Mathilde Boudou Comments on the Commission’s consultation related to the White Paper on the modernization of the EU merger law


On 9 July 2014, the European Commission published its White Paper - Towards More Effective EU Merger control and invited third parties to submit comments. This White Paper mainly focuses on the control of non-controling minority shareholdgins which the Commission intends to control through a (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Seizures of messaging : The French Supreme Court decides that the power of the agents of the French NCA to seize documents and computing supports finds its limit in the principle of the free defense (Medtronic)


Cass. com, 24.04.2013, Medtronic, No. 12-80.331 During a home visit in the course of a competition investigation, e-mails containing correspondence between the respondent company and its lawyer were seized in bulk. The First President of the Court of Appeal had refused to annul the (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc De minimis Communication: The Court of Justice recalls that the de minimis Communication is not intended to bind the competition authority nor the national jurisdictions (Expedia)


CJEU, 13.12.2012, Expedia, case C-226/11 On the occasion of the appeal filed by Expédia against the Paris Court of Appeal’s decision of February 23, 2010 confirming the ADLC’s condemnation decision, the French Supreme Court (Cour de cassation) had suspended its decision and referred to the CJEU (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Visits et seizures : The Paris Court of Appeal reaffirms the conformity of a JLD’s warrant authorising visits and seizures to Article L 450-4 of the French commercial code


CA Paris, August 31, 2012, L’Équipe, Aujourd’hui Sport, Le Parisien Libéré, Éditions P. Amaury et Amaury médias, RG n° 12/01761 et 12/01773 The Paris Court of Appeal, ruling on a reference after cassation, confirms the conformity with article L. 450-4 of the French Commercial Code of orders for visits (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Civil actions and procedure : The French Supreme Court admits the appeal of the President of the French Competition Authority against a ruling ordering a stay of execution and upholds the French Competition Authority decision recalling the right of the victims of anticompetitive practices to claim compensation (Aximum et SES)


Cass. com, March 20, 2012, Aximum and SES, Appeal No. 11-16.128 The Competition Authority had sanctioned several companies for implementing anti-competitive practices: in addition to the fines, the Authority had issued an injunction to publish a text summarizing the decision and recalling the (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal : The French Supreme Court approves the Paris Court of Appeal which retains that the non-respect of its exclusive jurisdiction constitute a bar to the proceedings (Valence automobiles et Pasquinelli Holding/Toyota France)


Cass. com, 21 February 2012, Valence automobiles and Pasquinelli Holding v. Toyota France, appeal No. 11-13.276 A car manufacturer had refused to approve two companies as distributors of its products. Excluded from this marketing, they had been awarded damages in the first instance for the (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Investigation secrecy : The French Commercial Court of Paris admits the production of the exhibits gathered by the French Competition Authority (Outremer Télécom/Orange Caraïbe et France Télécom)


Paris Commercial Court, 8 November 2011, Outremer Télécom v Orange Caraïbe and France Télécom, RG n° 2010073867 Facts The incumbent telephone operator and one of its subsidiaries had been convicted by the French Competition Authority for abuse of a dominant position; a conviction upheld by the (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Right to retract : The French Supreme Court holds that even if the conditions for exercising the right to retract are not satisfied, a consumer may still obtain nullification of a contract on grounds of general law (UFC Que Choisir)


Facts A private individual had ordered kitchen units at a trade fair. When a technician came to his home, he had signed a new purchase order, which was presented as a rider, under which the price was increased. Taking the view that that new order replaced the first one by novation, he then (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Subsidiary : The ECJ holds that presumption of liability arising from a company’s ownership (even indirect) of all the capital of a subsidiary applies (General Química, Repsol Química, Repsol)


A company involved in a cartel case was a wholly owned subsidiary of a corporation, itself a wholly owned subsidiary of the parent company. The Commission had jointly and severally sanctioned these three companies, thereby holding the parent company liable for the illegal behaviour of a (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Antitrust proceedings : The Paris Court of Appeal decides on the possibility offered by Article R. 463-15 of the French Commercial Code to request a declassification of electronic mailboxes (Adecco / Randstad)


The Paris Court of Appeal has appealed against a decision handed down by the Competition Authority on February 2, 2009 (No. 09-D-05), under which various temporary employment agencies had been convicted for having concerted on their commercial policy towards some of their clients. The Paris (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Search and seizure procedure : The Paris Court of Appeal holds that an equity tie between two companies cannot by itself justify a judge’s authorization of a search and seizure procedure


Facts In order to establish competition violations committed by a parent company, a judge of freedoms and detention had authorized, pursuant to Article L. 450-4 of the Commercial Code, the Ministry of the Economy to carry out visits and seizures on the premises of a 24%-owned subsidiary. The (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Distribution of cosmetic products : The French Competition Council decides on the practice in the distribution of cosmetic products sold in pharmaceutical stores (Pierre Fabre)


Facts A manufacturer of cosmetic products prohibited its authorised distributors from selling certain brands of cosmetic and personal hygiene products on the Internet. He was prosecuted for infringement of Articles L. 420-1 of the French Commercial Code and 81 of the Treaty of the European (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Refusal to supply a parallel distributor: The EU Court of Justice holds that refusals to satisfy “normal” orders, even when they come from a parallel distributor, may constitute an abuse of dominant position (Lélos Kai Sia)


Facts For several years, Greek wholesalers had been buying certain medicines from a pharmaceutical company with a dominant position on the Greek market with a view to redistributing them in Greece and in other Member States with higher selling prices. From November 2000 to February 2001, the (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Prescription : The French Supreme Court rules that the transmission of the DGCCRF case handler report to the Competition Council suspends the prescription (Guerlain)


Facts On 21 October 1998, the Competition Council took up the competition situation in the luxury perfume sector on its own initiative. In September 2000, an administrative investigation report by the DGCCRF was filed with the rapporteur and transmitted to the Council. In June 2003, the (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Selective distribution : The Paris Commercial Court rules that a "web host" who distributes products outside a network is liable on the basis of unfair competition (Parfums Christian Dior, Kenzo Parfum, Parfums Givenchy, Guerlain / eBay)


Facts During 2006, the LVMH Group brought three lawsuits against eBay Inc. and eBay International AG (hereinafter eBay), concerning their activity as "host" of online auction offers. Claiming to be subject to acts of unfair competition, the perfumers, subsidiaries of the luxury group, have (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Misleading advertising: The Colmar Court of Appeal annuls the interim decision having suspended an advertising campaign in favour of distribution of medicines by the retail distribution (Univers Pharmacie / GALEC)


Facts A central purchasing agency had launched an advertising campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of opening up the self-medication market. The message emphasised that the possibility for parapharmacies linked to this purchasing group to sell medicines not reimbursed by the health (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Seizure : The Nanterre Judge of Freedoms and Custody holds that the DNECCRF’s “selective sorting” obligation also applies to seizures of emails during onsite visits (Eco-emballages)


Facts A visit to the premises of a company was carried out by the National Directorate for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DNECCRF) with the authorisation of the liberty and detention judge of the Nanterre Regional Court. At the time of this investigation, certain documents (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Abuse of a dominant position : The Paris Court of Appeal calls for greater care and vigilance to be exercised when assessing “predation by reputation” claims (GlaxoSmithKline France)


The abuse of a dominant position through predatory pricing has been difficult to characterise since the Akzo ruling by the ECJ on 3 July 1991. The judgment defined predation as "the practice by which a dominant undertaking fixes its prices at a level [far below its costs] (...) with the object (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Professional associations: The French Competition Council sanctions 7 union doctors for having agreed on the higher rate for consultations (Médecins spécialistes de secteur 1)


The Competition Council, seized by a consumer association, sanctioned seven doctors’ unions for having issued instructions to encourage their members - sector 1 specialist doctors - to increase their fees by a collective, extended and, at times, systematic use of "exceptional overruns". It (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Exclusionary practices : The Paris Court of Appeal confirms the decision of the Competition Council regarding practices in the distribution of cycles (Distribution des cycles)


The Paris Court of Appeal upholds the decision of the Competition Council which found against 22 companies for a total of €580,000 for having implemented anti-competitive agreements and inserted anti-competitive clauses in their general terms and conditions of sale and other distribution (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Good faith: The Bobigny Tribunal holds that contractual good faith justifies the adaptation of a distribution contract to create a website by the supplier (Nouvelles Frontières Distribution)


A tour operator that marketed its "products" through exclusive agents decided to also offer them on a website it had created. The agents, grouped together in an association for the defence of their interests, considered that they were deprived of the turnover achieved through the site and (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Wholesalers : The French Competition Council decides that a supplier that reserves a clientele of retailers for each wholesaler is restricting competition (Léonidas)


Léonidas, a Belgian supplier of chocolates, markets its products in France through wholesalers which it required to resell only to certain retailers chosen by it. The Competition Council considers that this limitation constituted an infringement of competition for wholesalers, who cannot (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Exchanges of information : The French Supreme Court considers that exchanges of confidential information on an oligopolistic market do not in themselves constitute a cartel (Bouygues Télécom / SFR / Orange France)


Facts An investigation carried out following a self-referral by the French Competition Council and a referral by the UFC-Que Choisir revealed that the three French mobile operators (Orange France, SFR, and Bouygues Télécom) exchanged strategic information between 1997 and 2003 and reached an (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Selective distribution : The Paris Commercial Tribunal holds that internet distribution of a brand product amounts to an act of unfair commercial practices and parasitism (Pacific Création/PMC Distribution)


Facts Pacific Création, a company specializing in the manufacture and distribution of fragrances, particularly the Lolita Lempicka brand, markets its products through a selective distribution network. In its agreements with resellers, it limits the use of Internet marketing by requiring that it (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Selective distribution : The French Competition Council informs several firms in the sector of cosmetics and personal hygiene products of its concerns as regards some of their practices (Distribution de produits cosmétiques et d’hygiène corporelle)


The Competition Council has expressed its competition concerns to several companies in the cosmetics and personal hygiene sector about some of their practices. The main issues at stake are the total prohibition imposed by certain distribution contracts on authorised resellers from reselling all (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Commitments procedure: The French Competition Council states that the commitments procedure is not meant to satisfy claimants’ demands (Canal 9/GIE Les Indépendants)


Facts The economic purpose of the EIG "Les indépendants" is to aggregate the audiences of certain local radio operators in order to provide a grouped offer of advertising space enabling them to access the national advertising market. In 2003, a company operating a local radio station, having (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Exchange of informations in the hotel sector: The French Competition Council decides on the draft about occupancy indicator of hotels in the region of Mulhouse (CCI Mulhouse)


The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) for Southern Alsace has asked the Competition Council for an opinion on the compatibility with the provisions of Article L. 420-1 of the French Commercial Code of a draft occupancy indicator for hotels in the Mulhouse region. The CCI’s project consists (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Applications of fines: The ECJ considers that anticompetitive practices sanctioned in a third State may also be sanctioned under European Competition Law if they have effects in Europe (Archer Daniels)


Facts Three companies have been fined by the US authorities for implementing an anti-competitive cartel in the US. As these companies had European subsidiaries, the cartel had effects in Europe. Therefore, one of them denounced the cartel to the Commission in order to benefit from the (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Recommended prices : The Paris Court of Appeal upholds the flexibility of the Competition Council in the characterization of resale price maintenance (Royal Canin)


Facts On June 22, 2005, the Competition Council condemned Royal Canin and fifteen members of its distribution network for having participated in a cartel concerning either wholesale or retail offers. In addition, Royal Canin was convicted of imposing pricing practices, customer restrictions (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Accountibility anticompetitive practices : The French Supreme Court upholds that when the business which committed anticompetitive practices disappears, the firm which assumes the economic and functional continuity may be sanctioned (EFS)


Facts The Reims Bio company, whose business is the development, processing and sale of blood products, obtained its supplies from the Champagne-Ardennes Public Interest Group (GIPCA), a blood transfusion establishment under the supervision of the French Blood Agency (AFS). As the agreement (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Parallel exports of medicines : The French Competition Council issues a decision on the practices carried out by various laboratories in the area of parallel exports of medicines (Exportations parallèles de médicaments)


pdf/Cons._conc._dec._no_05-D-72_20_decembre_2005.pdf Facts Drug exporting companies have complained that they have been subjected to delivery restrictions, discrimination, and denial of sales by twenty-one pharmaceutical companies. They have referred the matter to the Competition Council for (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Effects of abusive practices : The French NCA sanctions a supplier and his distributors who abused the legislation prohibiting "below-cost selling" (“Vidéocassettes préenregistrées”)


Facts Buena Vista Home Entertainment (BVHE), the exclusive distributor of Disney videocassettes for France, the distributors Casino and Carrefour, and the wholesaler SDO, agreed on consumer sales prices between 1995 and 1998. The French Competition Council was referred to by the Minister of (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Exchange of information : The French Competition Council inflicts a 534 millions euros fine to the mobile telephony operators (Orange France, SFR, Bouygues Télécom)


Facts An investigation carried out following a self-referral by the French Competition Council on August 28, 2001, and a referral by the UFC-Que Choisir on February 22, 2002, revealed that the three French mobile telephone operators (Orange France, SFR, and Bouygues Télécom) have exchanged (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Imposed conditional measures: The French Supreme Court holds that the Competition Council may impose conditional measures if the facts seem likely to constitute practices contrary to Articles L. 420-1 or L. 420-2 of the commerce code (Société Neuf Télécom)


Facts In 2003, Free, Iliad, LDCom and Neuf Télécom referred to the French Competition Council (Conseil de la concurrence) the practices of TF1, M6 and France Télécom which they considered to be contrary to the rules prohibiting anti-competitive agreements and abuses of dominant position, and have (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Non bis in idem: The Competition Council decides on the implementation of the non bis in idem principle to sanctions pronounced by Competition authorities (Neuf Télécom/France Telecom)


Facts Neuf Télécom accused France Télécom of abusing its dominant position on the market for broadband Internet access services. Before the Competition Council, France Telecom argued that "should the Council decide to impose a financial penalty, it could not, without violating the non bis in idem (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Calculation of fines: The ECJ decides on the principles asserted by the EC Commission guidelines for calculation of fines and on the legality of these guidelines (Dansk Rørindustri)


Facts By a decision of 21 October 1998, the European Commission had fined several manufacturers and suppliers of district heating pipes for sharing the European market in a cartel and for boycotting a competitor. The Court of First Instance confirmed this decision on 20 March 2002. The (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Non-compliance of injunction : The Paris Court of Appeal condemns severely an economic operator for non-compliance of an injunction pronounced by the Competition Council (France Telecom/9 Telecom)


Facts The Autorité de Régulation des Telecoms (ART) had defined three options containing the wholesale offers proposed by France Telecom’s alternative operators to Internet service providers wishing to market broadband Internet access (ADSL). Option three provided for the concession by France (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Selective distribution : The Paris Court of Appeal decides on the validity under National Competition Law of the qualitative criterions of a selective distribution network for a supplier whose the market share does not exceed 30 % (Marcout Soulhol/Cartier)


Facts As part of a strategy to reduce its selective distribution network, one supplier has drawn up a new distribution contract containing new criteria for the selection of its resellers. Faced with the refusal to renew its contract, a distributor referred the matter to the Competition (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Liability of parent company: The French Competition Council rules on imputability of a practice of a subsidiary to the mother company and on the right of response (France Télécom, "Primaliste")


Faits Deux associations regroupant des opérateurs alternatifs de télécommunications ont saisi le Conseil de la Concurrence d’une pratique mise en oeuvre par France Télécom, l’opérateur historique, qui consistait à offrir à tout nouveau souscripteur de forfait de téléphone mobile six mois d’abonnement (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Interim measures: The French NCA sanctions breach of injunction on the market of access to high speed Internet (9 Telecom Network/France Télécom)


Faits L’Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART) avait défini trois options contenant les offres de gros proposées par les opérateurs alternatifs et France Télécom aux fournisseurs d’accès internet (FAI) souhaitant commercialiser des accès à internet haut débit (ADSL). L’option 3 prévoyait la (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Refusal to grant a license : The CJEU rules that the exercise of an exclusive right of intellectual property may constitute an abuse of dominant position in "exceptional circumstances" (IMS Health)


Faits L’entreprise IMS Health fournit aux laboratoires pharmaceutiques des études sur les ventes régionales de produits pharmaceutiques en Allemagne, formatées selon une structure particulière mise en place en partenariat avec les laboratoires. Cette structure est devenue un modèle type sur lequel (...)

Marie Koehler de Montblanc Tying: The Paris Court of Appeal rules on the anticompetitive effect of tying discounts in the pharmaceutical sector (Novartis Pharma / Laboratoires Sandoz)


Faits Le laboratoire pharmaceutique SANDOZ, fabricant et fournisseur de ciclosporine (médicament indispensable à la prévention du rejet des greffes) pour des établissements hospitaliers, et détenant le monopole de fabrication de ce produit indispensable aux praticiens, a appliqué un système de (...)

Send a message