France

Cartel conduct is criminalised by the French Criminal Code.

The offence

It is a criminal offence for a person to fraudulently take a personal and decisive part in the conception, organisation or implementation of anti-competitive practices.

Anti-competitive practices, including those involving cartels, are defined in article L420-1 of the French Criminal Code. They include any express or tacit concerted practice, whose purpose or effect in particular:

  • limits the market access of or free competition between undertakings;
  • prevents free price fixing by the market by artificially encouraging price increases or decreases;
  • limits or controls production, outlets, investments or technical progress; or
  • shares markets or supply sources.

Sanctions

Individuals

Maximum fine of EUR75,000 and four years’ imprisonment.

Corporations

Fines may be imposed.

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