The item you have requested is not currently available in English and you have been redirected to the next available page. You may use your browser's back button to return to the item you were viewing.
Country desks feature Dentons lawyers in one jurisdiction with a particular focus or experience in another jurisdiction.
Learn more about our Canada capabilities
Learn more about our United States capabilities
Learn more about our Latin America and the Caribbean capabilities
Learn more about our Europe capabilities
Learn more about our United Kingdom capabilities
Learn more about our Central and Eastern Europe capabilities
Learn more about our Russia, CIS and the Caucasus capabilities
Learn more about our Africa capabilities
Learn more about our Middle East capabilities
Learn more about our Central Asia capabilities
Learn more about our China capabilities
Learn more about our ASEAN capabilities
Learn more about our Asia Pacific capabilities
Learn more about our Australia capabilities
At Dentons, we bring together top tier talent found at the intersection of geography, industry knowledge and substantive legal expertise. Start by clicking here
Dentons lawyers named in Who’s Who Legal Thought Leaders: Global Elite 2019 guide
Dentons is proud to congratulate six of our lawyers who have been recognised by Who’s Who Legal in its Thought Leaders: Global Elite 2019 guide.
With all the changes and announcements in 2018, our Eurozone Hub has collated the following supervisory outlook for 2019 as a non-exhaustive “Playbook” for Banking Union Supervised Institutions and other regulated market participants already based in or otherwise relocating to the EU and/or the Eurozone.
Canada Federal Budget 2019
In the wake of the release of the much-anticipated 2019 Federal Budget, members of Dentons’ Tax group, together with a team at Wolters Kluwer, have prepared a Special Report which provides a detailed analysis and concise summary of the changes featured in the Budget.
Global tax guide to doing business in... 2019
Our Global tax guide to doing business in… highlights the complexities of corporate tax systems in 28 countries across Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific, Australia and Europe.
US Policy Scan 2019
In Policy Scan 2019, Dentons' US Public Policy team's annual analysis of the legislative and political landscape, we take a close look at the issues, questions and conflicts that will dominate the dialogue on Capitol Hill and in the White House over the coming year.
Starting your career as a student at Dentons exposes you to a world of experience and opportunities
With 175 locations in 78 countries, Dentons is home to top-tier talent that is found at the intersection of geography, industry knowledge and substantive legal experience. Working with Dentons, you will have the opportunity to learn from the best lawyers in the industry at the largest law firm in the world.
The Legal 500 EMEA 2019 recognizes over 130 Dentons lawyers
The 2019 edition of The Legal 500 Europe, Middle East and Africa has recognized 133 Dentons lawyers, of which 89 have been included in the elite “Leading Lawyers” list, while 44 are listed as “Next Generation Lawyers”.
Dentons launches Market Insights publication: “Digital Transformation and the Digital Consumer”
Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, has launched a new Market Insights publication entitled “Digital Transformation and the Digital Consumer”, which examines the legal implications of the online economy.
Dentons ranks across 68 tables securing 109 individual and 43 practice rankings in Chambers USA
Global law firm Dentons earned 109 individual and 43 practice rankings - a 20% increase over last year - in the most recent edition of Chamber USA.
The Paris Court of Appeal recently overturned a decision handed down by the French Competition Authority, considering that the marketing agreements between competitors did not have an anticompetitive purpose due to the legal and economic context specific to the agreements in question.
As a reminder, the Authority had found that the France Farine and Bach Mühle joint venture, created between various millers in order to jointly market packaged flour, sought to restrict competition. The Authority had noted that the purpose of these marketing agreements was not a result of these companies’ by-laws, but that the management and functioning of these companies led to joint fixing of the price of packaged flour sold to hypermarkets and supermarkets, and to the sharing of clients, which were supplied by the factory of the nearest company.
The millers condemned by the Authority argued before the Court of Appeal that, given the legal and economic context in which France Farine and Bach Mühle found themselves, these marketing structures cannot constitute anticompetitive cartels as their respective incorporation, which took place in a specific legislative and regulatory context, prior to the order of 1986, was necessary for the companies in question in order to operate on the market on a national basis.
To respond favorably to these arguments, the Court of Appeal firstly recalled consistently held case law, according to which, in order to assess the anticompetitive nature of an agreement, the contents of the provisions, the objectives and the economic and legal context must be considered in particular.
With respect to the economic context of the marketing agreements in question, the Court noted that the agreements were entered into at a time when economic regulations were still influenced by the administered economic system, both in terms of the price and manufacture; this must be taken into account in order to assess whether the purpose was anticompetitive.
As for the objectives of the marketing agreements, the Court of Appeal holds that the incorporation of France Farine and Bach Mühle took place in an economic context characterized by the increased importance of mass market retailing which enjoyed substantial bargaining powers. The Court of Appeal highlighted in this respect that the increase in mass market retailing, which took the form of the takeover of brands or affiliated distributors, was accompanied by the disappearance of numerous economic players which, up until then, had allowed millers to sell off their production in a geographical area corresponding to their traditional local or regional installation, and that the millers’ numerous buyers were gradually replaced by seven purchasing bodies for the whole of France which now own almost 100 percent of the outlets for the sale of packaged flour.
Thus, the claimants are entitled to argue that they were encouraged to group together in joint marketing structures in order to meet demand effectively, which had become national through calls for tenders launched by mass market retailers.
The Court of Appeal concluded that these joint marketing organizations did not have an anticompetitive purpose, and therefore overturned the order related to this accusation, i.e. €146.9 million for the seven companies concerned.
Following the chicory case in which the Court of Appeal overturned the Authority’s decision as it did not take into account the specific context of this farming sector, this marks yet another setback for the Authority. As an appeal has already been filed, the position adopted by the Supreme Court will be eagerly awaited.
Two recent judgments handed down by the Court of the European Union set limits to the liability of parent companies for the anticompetitive practices of their subsidiaries.
As a reminder, decision-making practices both on a European and French level are characterized by a presumption, which is in theory rebuttable, according to which a parent company holding 100 percent of the capital of its subsidiary has a decisive influence over the commercial policy of the latter and is therefore liable for infringements of competition regulations committed by it.
However, the Court recently reminded the European Commission of the need to provide sufficient grounds for dismissing the arguments of a parent company seeking to overturn the presumption of imputability. In the case in question, the parent company had sought to demonstrate before the Commission that its subsidiaries acted independently in the anticompetitive cartel. In response to these arguments, the Commission merely noted that said arguments were not sufficient to overturn the presumption of imputability of the infringement to the parent company.
According to the Court, the Commission’s reasoning does not respond to the claimant’s arguments, which were neither irrelevant nor meaningless for the purposes of rebutting the presumption given that the parent company had invoked special circumstances characterizing relations with its subsidiary, such as the principle of operational decentralization of the group, sole liability of the subsidiaries in defining the commercial policy and the fact that, due to the structure of the group, it was impossible for it to control its subsidiary’s commercial policy. The Court found that the Commission had breached its obligation to state reasons, and as a result the Commission’s decision concerning the parent company was overturned.
In another decision, the Court held that aggravating circumstances against the parent company cannot be applied on the basis of prior decisions which only concerned its subsidiaries, by imputing liability to the parent company for infringements committed by its subsidiaries.
The imputability of a subsidiary’s practices to the parent company is therefore not inevitable. It is up to the parent company to demonstrate that it does not in fact control the subsidiary in question, without it being able to argue based solely on the fact that its purpose is limited to the holding and management of shares in the group.
In 2010, the Commission had imposed a fine of €5 million on the French National Order of Pharmacists (ONP) for restricting competition on the biomedical analysis market. On the one hand, the ONP prevented groups of laboratories from growing due to measures seeking to hinder holdings in the capital of laboratories and, on the other hand, it imposed a minimum price for analysis services by prohibiting these laboratories from granting discounts of more than 10 percent.
The ONP challenged this decision by arguing that these actions were exempt from competition law as its activities were that of a public authority, justified by the protection of public health. All of the measures for which it is reproached allegedly seek simply to ensure that the law regulating shareholdings and discount is respected. The Court dismissed this argument, considering that the ONP does not have regulatory powers and that the authority of member states to make restrictions to the freedom of establishment in the name of protecting public health does not authorize private bodies or associations of undertakings to infringe competition regulations by imposing restrictions that the State itself does not provide for, or by interpreting the law in an extensive manner.
With respect to the amount of the fine, which the ONP requested be symbolic, the Court responded that the fact that the Order was not seeking to make a profit does not mean that it does not benefit a number of private interests. Moreover, the fact that a change in legislation subsequently prohibited discount should not reduce the sanction which concerns past behavior and which seeks to dissuade against other infringements in the future. The Court agreed nonetheless to reduce the fine by a small amount due to the Commission’s failure to take full account of a circular which influenced the practices for which the ONP is criticized. The fine is reduced to €4.75 million. For the first time, it is intended that companies active on the market in question will be able to settle the fine imposed on the ONP.