Politique et pratique du droit de la concurrence en France

Dominique Brault

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In the context of a subject that has evolved and been profoundly reworked in recent years, Dominique Brault proposes to take a "snapshot" of competition law. In its descriptive aspect of the current state of the subject, the snapshot proves to be successful. The reader will find the most recent legislative, regulatory and jurisprudential developments studied. Nevertheless, like any photograph taken by a professional photographer, this publication also reflects the intellectual contribution of its author in terms of the presentation chosen and the issues studied.

This subjective dimension is reflected first and foremost in the plan adopted. While it largely follows the format of a previous volume published in 1997 under the title "Competition Law and Policy", the order of this volume remains dynamic. Thus, the approach chosen leads to deal successively with the establishment of the conditions of competition (Title I), the guarantee of effective competition through the control of company behaviour (Title II) and, finally, the arbitration of the game (Title III). This repetition shows that while the content of the subject matter changes, the author’s conception of it remains intact. With a focus of a particular type, the author deals with competition law from a rather broad angle. Right from the introduction, and in accordance with the title chosen, Dominique Brault focuses on the competition law applicable in France, i.e. Community law and French law. This approach, which can be observed in the first chapter devoted to the structural conditions of competition, will be continued throughout the book and sometimes supplemented by references to the British, German and American experiences in the fields studied.

The author’s broad definition of competition law is most significantly reflected in the second chapter of this book dealing with the equalization of opportunities between competitors. Now deeply immersed in the first title, and after having gone through the issues relating to the regulation of market access and the control of public aid, the reader is brought to know the provisions, mostly French, which govern unfair competition, restrictive practices and market transparency. Next, the competition law specialist will not be surprised to learn that the second title deals with anti-competitive practices and the particularities of French law in this area.

The third and last part of the book is more consequential and for good reason; it studies the institutions, their respective competences, the procedural rules, the different types of decisions as well as the jurisdictional appeals. This too rapid presentation would appear to be incomplete without mentioning an aspect suggested by the title of the work and recalled by the back cover, namely that it is "a book of opinion". The author proposes to outline a duty to be of competition policy and, subsequently, of the law that is its instrument. Present in the introduction and perceptible throughout the work, it is quite logical in conclusion that this dimension is most clearly manifested. This publication therefore ends with a set of proposals for the modification of certain practices of the competition authorities and even of the substantive law that governs them, proposals that should be left to the reader to (re)discover and appreciate.