Ashurst (Paris)

Marie Florent

Ashurst (Paris)
Lawyer (Associate)

Marie Florent is an associate in the Competition and EU law department in Paris. She specialises in all areas of French and EU competition law. She has extensive experience in merger control (French, European and multijurisdictional filings) and advises companies in antitrust investigations before the European Commission and the French Competition Authority. Marie is a graduate of the University of Paris X (Paris – Nanterre) and of the University Paris II (Panthéon – Assas), and is a lawyer at the Paris Bar.

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Articles

1525 Bulletin

Marie Florent The French Competition Authority prohibits the acquisition of sole control of the company owning and managing a pipeline network that supplies refined oil products in the south-east of France (Pipeline Méditerranée-Rhône / Ardian)

172

On 12 May 2021, the French Competition Authority ("FCA") prohibited the acquisition of sole control of the company owning and managing a pipeline network which supplies refined oil products in the south-east of France. It is only the second prohibition decision since the creation of the FCA. (...)

Michaël Cousin, Marie Florent The French Supreme Administrative Court declines jurisdiction to review a below-threshold referral by the Competition Authority to the EU Commission (Illumina / Grail)

246

Responding to an appeal against the French Competition Authority’s ("FCA") first referral of a concentration below national merger control thresholds to the European Commission, the Conseil d’Etat declared it does not have jurisdiction to rule in these cases. Key takeaways The French Supreme (...)

Michaël Cousin, Marie Florent The French Constitutional Council declares unconstitutional a provision of the Commercial Code that provides an administrative penalty in the case of obstructive practices to an investigation, as an existing criminal provision sanctions the same conduct (Akka Technologies)

313

On 26 March 2021, the French Constitutional Council ruled that, insofar as a criminal provision sanctions the same conduct, the provision of the Commercial Code imposing a fine (being up to 1% of the undertaking’s annual turnover) for obstructive practices to an investigation is (...)

Michaël Cousin, Marie Florent The French Administrative Supreme Court confirms the scope of the FCA’s investigative powers in the context of cross-border investigations (Caudalie)

340

On 17 February 2021, the French Supreme Court confirmed an order authorising the French Competition Authority ("FCA") to carry out dawn raids at Caudalie’s premises on its own account following a request for assistance received from its Belgian counterpart. What you need to know – key takeaways (...)

3909 Review

Christophe Lemaire, Marie Florent Professional confidentiality: The French Supreme Court confirms the order of the first president of the Paris Court of Appeal, considering that internal exchanges within a company containing the substance of strategic legal consultations are covered by the principle of attorney-client privilege (Whirlpool)

50

On January 26, 2022, the Court of Cassation once again ruled on the issue of the protection of attorney-client correspondence, in a landmark decision. **Reminder of the context and of the solution adopted by the First President of the Paris Court of Appeal, according to which internal e-mails (...)

Christophe Lemaire, Marie Florent Search and seizure: The French Supreme Court confirms the legality of several orders authorizing visits and seizures in the recycling and rendering sectors

46

The period under review has brought its share of rulings relating to challenges to search and seizure operations [hereafter "OVS"]. In three rulings dated January 4, 2022 and one dated January 12, 2022, the Court of Cassation confirmed the legality of several orders of the liberty and detention (...)

Christophe Lemaire, Marie Florent Competence: The French Supreme Court refers to the Court of Jurisdictional Conflict the task of determining the jurisdictional level competent to hear an appeal against the Competition Authority’s notice of a sanction decision (Roche)

33

On January 5, 2022, the Court of Cassation, seized of an appeal against an order of the first president of the Paris Court of Appeal, decided to stay the proceedings and to refer back to the Tribunal des conflits the task of designating the court having jurisdiction to hear an appeal against (...)

Christophe Lemaire, Marie Florent Sanctions: The French Supreme Court confirms the penalty imposed by the French Competition Authority for obstruction of inspection and seizure operations (Akka technologies)

99

In a ruling handed down on December 1, 2021, the Commercial Chamber of the French Supreme Court dismissed the appeal filed by the Akka group of companies against the ruling handed down on May 26, 2020 by the Paris Court of Appeals and thus confirmed the decision of the French Competition (...)

Christophe Lemaire, Marie Florent, Hélène Fricaudet Conformity: The French Competition Authority launches a public consultation on a draft new framework document on competition law compliance programs

94

On October 11, 2021, the French Competition Authority [the "Authority"] published a draft framework document on competition compliance programs and put it out for public comment in order to update the framework document published in 2012, which was withdrawn following the reform of the (...)

Christophe Lemaire, Marie Florent Recusal procedure: The French Supreme Court holds that the procedure for recusal or dismissal on grounds of legitimate suspicion cannot be applied in respect of the Competition Authority, which is not a court (CSTB) (FILMM) (Saint-Gobain Isover)

84

On September 30, 2021, the Second Civil Chamber of the Court of Cassation issued three highly anticipated rulings on the issue of the legal qualification of the Competition Authority [the "Authority"] in litigation initiated following the highly notable ruling issued by this same chamber on (...)

Marie Florent, Christophe Lemaire Reformation: The Paris Court of Appeal reverses for the first time a decision of the French Competition Authority sanctioning a company for non-compliance with commitments (GIE PMU)

197

The decision of the Paris Court of Appeal on September 2, 2021, which fully reversed a decision of the French Competition Authority [the "Authority"] sanctioning a company for non-compliance with commitments made to it, concerns a case that is almost a decade old. Feedback on the commitments (...)

Christophe Lemaire, Marie Florent Exchange of documents: The French Government adopts a decree setting up a secure platform for the exchange of electronic documents in proceedings before it

76

On June 8, 2021, the French Competition Authority (Autorité de la concurrence) announced the implementation of a platform to ensure the secure exchange of electronic documents in the context of proceedings before it. This platform, called Hermès, is intended to be used for both merger control and (...)

Christophe Lemaire, Marie Florent Sanctions: The French Constitutional Council declares unconstitutional the provisions of the second subparagraph of paragraph V of Article L. 464-2 C. com. sanctioning practices of obstruction to the investigation or inquiry (Akka Technologies)

191

Seized by the Court of Cassation of a priority question of constitutionality ["QPC"] formulated by the Akka group, the Constitutional Council adopted on March 26, 2021, a decision under the terms of which it declares Article L. 464-2, paragraph V, subparagraph 2 C. com., in its wording (...)

Christophe Lemaire, Marie Florent Jurisdiction: The French Supreme Court clarifies the powers of the French Competition Authority in the context of a request for assistance to an investigation presented in the framework of the European Competition Network (Caudalie)

114

On February 17, 2021, the Court of Cassation upheld a decision of the Paris Court of Appeal, which had dismissed the appeal filed by Caudalie against an order of the liberty and custody judge authorizing the Competition Authority to conduct inspections and seizures on Caudalie ’s premises on its (...)

Christophe Lemaire, Marie Florent Commitments: The French Competition Authority accepts and makes binding commitments to address competition concerns identified in the parcel delivery sector (La Poste)

136

On 2 April 2020, the Competition Authority accepted and made binding the commitments offered by the La Poste group in the parcel delivery sector and therefore closed the proceedings initiated before it in 2010, following two referrals made by the Minister for Economic Affairs and by a relay (...)

Christophe Lemaire, Marie Florent Dawn raids: The First President of the Paris Court of Appeal reiterates various principles applicable to dawn raids operations authorised on the basis of Article L. 450-4 of the French Commercial Code and confirms their application to the notarial sector (ADSN, CSN, Jean Goyet)

147

By two orders dated 11 December 2019, the First President of the Paris Court of Appeal had the opportunity to rule on the regularity of OVS] inspection and seizure [operations in the notarial sector. The cases before this magistrate were all related to an order issued in support of a request (...)

Christophe Lemaire, Marie Florent Settlement: The French Competition Authority fines a group of road freight transport companies for having organised customer allocation practises among its members and, on that occasion, specifies the conditions for the application of the settlement procedure (Astre)

205

On 28 October 2019, the Competition Authority imposed a fine on a group of small and medium-sized enterprises active in road haulage for having organised practices of customer allocation among its members, through two of its entities, Astre Coopérative and Astre Commercial. On this occasion, the (...)

Christophe Lemaire, Marie Florent Commitments: The French Competition Authority submits to public consultation the proposed commitments regarding practices likely to constitute an abuse of dominant position in the parcel delivery sector (La Poste)

184

In the context of the investigation of two referrals made almost ten years ago by the Minister for Economic Affairs and a relay point parcel delivery operator (the Belgian company Kiala) concerning practices allegedly implemented by the La Poste group in the parcel delivery sector, the (...)

Christophe Lemaire, Marie Florent Limitation period: The Paris Administrative Court rejects the damages action introduced by the Ile-de-France region against the authors of an anticompetitive agreement regarding a public procurement procedure as time-barred (Région Île-de-France)

377

On 29 July 2019, the Paris Administrative Court had to rule on the admissibility of an action for damages brought by the Île-de-France region in the now famous Île-de-France high school public procurement case. On this occasion, the Administrative Court rejected the request made by the (...)

Christophe Lemaire, Marie Florent Competition policy: The French Competition Authority and the General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control adopt a new cooperation charter

184

On 23 July 2019, the Competition Authority and the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) announced the adoption of a joint cooperation charter. This charter is a direct response to one of the recommendations made by the Court of Auditors on 14 March (...)

Christophe Lemaire, Marie Florent Commitments: The French Competition Authority renders legally binding commitments aiming to cure competition concerns regarding practices likely to constitute an abuse of dominant position in the sector for the commercialisation of decoders for satellite television broadcasts (Commercialisation of decoders for satellite television broadcasts)

615

On July 24, 2018, the French Competition Authority accepted and made binding the commitments proposed by Groupe Canal Plus (GCP). It thus closed the proceedings initiated before it in September 2014, following a referral made by a satellite decoder manufacturer, Aston France, concerning (...)

Christophe Lemaire, Marie Florent Leniency: The French Supreme Court confirms the principle that the application for leniency made by a subsidiary does not benefit to its former parent company, since the latter no longer held it at the time of filing this application (GEA Group)

263

The issue of intra-group relations is a complex subject in competition law, particularly when groups evolve and restructure during or following anti-competitive practices (see on this subject, Ch. Lemaire, Responsabilité concurrentielle des groupes de sociétés, Contrats, Conc., Consom., July 2017, (...)

Christophe Lemaire, Marie Florent Dawn raids: The French Supreme Court reaffirms the full applicability of the common law on dawn raids to press and audiovisual communication companies and recalls certain principles on the legality and the conduct of such investigations (Free Mobile, Free, Iliad)

225

In two rulings of 21 March 2018, the Court of Cassation notably reaffirmed the full applicability of ordinary law on access and seizure operations to press and audiovisual communication companies, by dismissing appeals against two orders issued by the First President of the Paris Court of (...)

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