Virginie Beaumeunier (French Competition Authority): A new General Rapporteur for the French Competition Authority

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- Could you briefly describe your career path? What in your experience at the DGCCRF seems to you to be of use to the Competition Authority?

- How do you intend to put into practice the prerogative granted to the Authority’s General Rapporteur to take the lead in investigations initiated by the DGCCRF or to propose to the Authority’s College to take up cases ex officio?

- A new system has been introduced for the control of mergers in the DOMs and certain COMs. Was the old system - which does not seem to have been used - inadequate? Could you specify what will change with the reform?

- For companies, the Minister’s new power to intervene raises practical questions. In particular, what can you recommend to companies regarding the effective date of completion of their operation? Do they have to wait for the 5 days in Phase I during which the Minister can intervene? And in Phase II, how should the period between the Authority’s decision and the possible evocation of the Minister be managed? Do you intend to address this point in future guidelines?

- Could you present the new organisation of the Authority’s investigation services?

- Do you consider that your resources are sufficient to cope with the increased tasks of the training services? In particular with regard to merger control?

- How do you envisage the integration of DGCCRF agents within the Authority? How do you see your role at the head of the investigation services? Do you think that you favour an overall management of the investigation services with a broad delegation of case handling to the various heads of department, or, on the contrary, do you want to be directly involved in the handling of certain important cases?

- Do you consider that the new system has achieved a satisfactory balance between the rights of the defence and the effectiveness of the procedure?

- How do you see the relationship between the general rapporteur and the hearing officer?

- Could you clarify the practical implications of the reform regarding the protection of business secrecy and in particular the deletion of the confidential annex?

- Under what conditions - in particular with regard to time limits - should the rapporteur-general invite undertakings that have not been able to invoke the provisions of Article L. 463-4 to invoke the provisions of Article L. 463-4?

- The President of the Authority referred in our previous issue - No. 1-2009 - to the principle of modulating the parties’ access to the file. How do you intend to implement this modulation?

- How do you see your relationship with the Collège, particularly in terms of your power to propose to it that it be self-supporting?

- Do you think that the training services are called upon to play a new role in the definition of competition policy?

Interview conducted by Christophe LemairePartner Ashurst, Associate Professor, University paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and Alain RonsanoEditor "L’actu-concurrence", Paris.

Interview Could you briefly describe your career path? My professional career has two main components: The "competition and consumer protection" sphere both in sectoral functions (health, public procurement, services and networks) and in more horizontal functions of general competition policy and consumer protection, carried out within the DGCCRF or in the ministerial cabinet. In particular, I was Government Commissioner at the Competition Council since 2006. The "State reform" sphere with the conduct of several projects to modernise the functioning of administrations within the Ministry of Finance, pioneering in certain areas such as procurement policy, or on behalf of the DGCCRF with the drafting of the first performance contract for this directorate entitled "DGCCRF 2008".

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Virginie Beaumeunier, Alain Ronzano, Christophe Lemaire, Virginie Beaumeunier (French Competition Authority): A new General Rapporteur for the French Competition Authority, May 2009, Concurrences N° 2-2009, Art. N° 25788, pp. 6-8

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