LEGAL PRACTICE: MERGERS- FRANCE - DISTRIBUTION NETWORK - COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS

Analysis of intra- and inter-brand competition in mergers within distribution networks: Review of the French Competition Authority’s decision-making practice in the retail sector

During the assessment of an acquisition by the head of the network of one of its members in the spring of 2018, in the food retail sector, the Autorité de la concurrence specified the manner in which it conducts the competitive analysis of this type of merger. Thus, even in the absence of a change of brand from a target point of sale, these mergers are likely to restrict competition when the member of a franchise network had commercial autonomy vis-à-vis its head of network or when it had the contractual possibility of joining a competing network in the medium term, in the presence of significant market shares of the new entity. This article presents the analysis followed by the Autorité in the retail sector within a distribution network, in line with its opinion of December 7, 2010 on the affiliation contracts of independent stores in the food retail sector and a precedent in litigation. It also gives the opportunity to make a short retrospective of its practice in assessing merger in the retail sector since 2009.

“Raisin vert, raisin mûr, raisin sec, tout est changement, non pour ne plus être, mais pour devenir ce qui n’est pas encore [1].” Introduction 1. Le 27 avril 2018, l’Autorité de la concurrence (ci-après, “l’Autorité”) a autorisé l’acquisition de deux magasins exploités sous enseigne Carrefour, par le groupe Carrefour, sous réserve d’un engagement inédit [2]. En effet, afin de répondre aux préoccupations de concurrence identifiées dans un marché local de la distribution à dominante alimentaire, le groupe Carrefour s’est engagé à céder l’un de ses magasins à un repreneur indépendant et à conclure concomitamment un contrat de licence dont la durée n’excède pas trois années. Si la rupture d’un contrat de franchise pour permettre l’émergence d’une nouvelle enseigne dans une zone a déjà été acceptée par l’Autorité [3],

Access to this article is restricted to subscribers

Already Subscribed? Sign-in

Access to this article is restricted to subscribers.

Read one article for free

Sign-up to read this article for free and discover our services.

 

PDF Version

Author

  • SGAE - Secrétariat Général des Affaires Européennes (Paris)

Quotation

Jérôme Vidal, Analysis of intra- and inter-brand competition in mergers within distribution networks: Review of the French Competition Authority’s decision-making practice in the retail sector, May 2020, Concurrences N° 2-2020, Art. N° 93977, pp. 256-269

Visites 212

All reviews