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Is there any need to stress the key role of investigations in competition law and more particularly in anti-competitive practices law? All practitioners, whether they are on the side of the targeted companies or the authorities, know that the case is often decided at this crucial moment. Far from being a matter for specialists, mastery of the rules that govern them is essential for everyone, in particular for company directors and their in-house or external lawyers, who will have to adopt the right practices from the outset. However, it is clear that French rules are more complex than European rules. The beginning of the approximation of legislation by Directive 2019/1 of 11 December 2018, known as "ECN +", which has just been transposed in France, hardly changes the situation. There are many reasons for this complexity, both institutional and procedural. Investigators may belong to the DGCCRF or the Competition Authority. Investigations may be based solely on French law, or they may also target practices that may fall under EU law. Moreover, in the French tradition, the judicial judge has always had an important supervisory role, largely confirmed by the applicability of the European Convention on Human Rights to the matter. This "structural complexity" has been further accentuated in recent years by numerous legislative reforms, the most recent of which was Order No. 2021-649 of 26 May 2021. It should therefore come as no surprise that litigation concerning investigations is flourishing in France and is much more frequent in our courts than before the Court of Justice.
In order to find one’s way through this dense collection, Nathalie Jalabert-Doury had already proposed a new version of her previous work on competition inspections, which has long been an authority in France. The subject matter had grown so much in recent years that the book had to be split into two volumes, the first of which was devoted solely to the competition inspections of the French authorities, while the second dealt with the inspections of the European Commission. The abundance of legislation and case law called for a second edition. As in the first edition, the reader will find a complete presentation of the legal framework applicable to this first phase of all "competition proceedings", updated to the latest legislative and case law developments as of June 30, 2021. We are always particularly pleased to welcome these books to the "Concurrences" collection and have no doubt that they will be as successful as their predecessors.