France: Merger control

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This country-specific Q&A provides an overview of the legal framework and key issues surrounding merger control law in France.

This Q&A is part of the global guide to Merger Control. For a full list of jurisdictional Q&As visit http://www.inhouselawyer.co.uk/index.php/practice-areas/merger-control

  1. Overview

    The French merger control regime is governed by Articles L.430-1 to L.430-10 and R.430-2 to R.430-10 of the French Commercial Code (“FCC”). In addition, the revised Merger Control Guidelines (“Merger Control Guidelines”) issued by the Autorité de la concurrence, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) on 10 July 2013 provide practical guidance to companies.

    The relevant enforcement authority is the FCA, an independent administrative body. In addition, the French Minister of Economy (“Minister of Economy”) holds residual powers at two stages of the merger control process (Article L.430-7-1 of the FCC):

    • He can request that the FCA open an in-depth review of a concentration (i.e., Phase 2), even if such concentration has already been cleared by the FCA (the FCA has discretion to decide whether to allow this request or not);
    • He can decide to examine a concentration at the end of the period of in-depth review and either authorise or prohibit the merger on public interest grounds without taking into account the FCA’s decision.

    Notification of mergers that meet certain jurisdictional thresholds (expressed in turnover) is mandatory in France. Concentrations that trigger an obligation to notify may not be implemented prior to clearance and fines can be imposed for failure to notify and/or gun-jumping.

  2. Is mandatory notification compulsory or voluntary?

    Filing is mandatory for all concentrations that meet the jurisdictional thresholds. There is an exception to this principle if the transaction also meets the jurisdictional thresholds to notify the concentration to the European Commission.

  3. Is there a prohibition on completion or closing prior to clearance by the relevant authority? Are there possibilities for derogation or carve out?

    Parties may not implement a transaction which triggers a notification to the FCA until the concentration is approved by the FCA (Article L.430-3 of the FCC). Implementation of the transaction must therefore be suspended until clearance is obtained. Derogation from the suspensive effect is available provided that such derogation is necessary and justified:

    • In the case of public bids falling within the scope of French merger control: the parties may transfer the shares, provided that the transaction is notified without delay and the voting rights attached to the shares are not exercised before the FCA clears the transaction (Article R.430-5 of the FCC); or
    • In very specific cases where closing prior to having obtained the FCA’s approval is crucial, such as transactions involving companies put into receivership or compulsory liquidation (Article L.430-4 of the FCC).

    There is no provision in French law concerning the possibility to “carve out” French assets and legal entities in order to avoid delaying the global completion of a merger.

  4. What are the conditions of the test for control?

    The French merger control regime applies to “concentrations” which are defined as transactions leading to the acquisition of control, including a change in the quality of control. “Control” is defined as the ability to exercise decisive influence over an undertaking on a lasting basis, having regard to the legal and factual circumstances.
    The following transactions may therefore be subject to notification in France:

    • A merger between two or more previously independent undertakings;
    • The acquisition of direct or indirect control by one or several persons, already controlling at least one undertaking, over the whole or parts of one or more other undertakings; or
    • The creation of a full-function joint venture.
  5. What are the conditions on minority interest in your jurisdiction?

    The acquisition of a minority interest is subject to merger control only if it leads to a change of control on a lasting basis and the jurisdictional thresholds are met. There is no minimum percentage shareholding below which it is safe to assume that control will not arise. Each situation should be analysed in its specific context.

    In particular, de facto control may arise with the acquisition of a minority interest. For the purpose of analysing whether a company acquires de facto control of another entity, the FCA will, among others, consider whether that company acquires veto rights over strategic decisions, such as the budget, the business plan and the appointment and removal of senior management. For instance in the CGST-Save/Domoservices decision (2002), the GDF group was deemed by the Minister of Economy (the authority authorising concentrations in France at that time) as exercising decisive influence over CGST, although its shareholding was limited to 20% of CGST’s capital. The GDF group was indeed the sole industrial operator with an interest in the capital and had a pre-emption right as well as 2 seats out of 5 on the board of directors.

  6. What are the jurisdictional thresholds (turnover, assets, market share and/or local presence)?

    Three alternative turnover-based thresholds exist in France:

    • There is a general threshold under which notification is required if (a) the parties’ combined worldwide pre-tax revenues exceeded €150 million in the previous financial year; (b) at least two of the parties each achieved pre-tax revenues of €50 million in France; and (c) the concentration does not have an EU dimension (Article L.430-2 I of the FCC);
    • There is a specific threshold as regards the retail trade industry under which notification is required if (a) the parties’ combined worldwide pre-tax revenues exceeded €75 million in the previous financial year; (b) at least two of the parties each achieved pre-tax revenues of €15 million in France in the retail trade industry; and (c) the concentration does not have an EU dimension (Article L.430-2 II of the FCC);
    • Finally, there is a specific threshold concerning the French overseas territories under which notification is required if at least one party to the transaction has activities in one or more French overseas departments (Guadeloupe and La Réunion), the Mayotte department or in the French overseas communities of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy and (a) the parties’ combined worldwide pre-tax revenues exceeded €75 million; (b) at least two of the parties each achieved pre-tax revenue of €15 million (or €5 million if in the retail trade industry) in at least one French overseas department or overseas community (Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna islands, French Polynesia, Saint-Barthélémy, and Saint-Martin); and (c) the concentration does not have an EU dimension (Article L.430-2 III of the FCC).
      For the purpose of the above-mentioned thresholds, the turnover of an undertaking is assessed at the group level and the seller is not taken into account.

    For the purpose of the specific thresholds in the retail trade sector, retail trade is defined as the sale of goods to consumers for domestic use. This includes the sale of second-hand objects and certain small-scale services (e.g., shoe repair, photography). However, services of an immaterial or intellectual nature (e.g., banks, insurance) as well as companies that carry out the entirety of their sales online are excluded (para. 75 of the Merger Control Guidelines).

  7. How are turnover, assets and/or market shares valued or determined for the purposes of jurisdictional thresholds?

    The concept of “turnover” corresponds to the revenue generated from the sale of goods and supply of services as part of normal business activities, after deducting discounts or any turnover-related taxes, in the last completed financial year. Transactions, such as mergers, acquisitions, or divestitures, closed since the last completed financial year which had an impact on the turnover must be taken into account.

    With regard to geographical allocation of the turnover, the Merger Control Guidelines state that turnover must in principle be allocated to the location where the customer is located (para. 92). Accordingly, for the purpose of calculating turnover allocated to France, all sales made to customers located in France, including sales made from another country, should be taken into account.

  8. Is there a particular exchange rate required to be used for turnover thresholds and asset values?

    No particular exchange rate to convert other currencies into Euros is prescribed by French law.

  9. Do merger control rules apply to joint ventures (both new joint ventures and acquisitions of joint control over an existing business?

    The French merger control regime applies to the creation of full-function joint ventures, (Article L.430-1 of the FCC). There is no difference in the applicable rules depending on whether the transaction relates to the creation of a “green field” joint venture or to the acquisition of joint control over an existing business.

    A full-function joint venture is defined as a common undertaking that carries out all functions of an autonomous economic entity on a lasting basis.

    There are no separate turnover thresholds for joint ventures. For the purpose of calculating turnover, the turnover of each undertaking acquiring a controlling interest in the joint venture should be taken into consideration in addition to the turnover of the joint venture itself, if applicable. This means that, in principle, a joint venture may need to be notified in France even if the joint venture will have no activity in France. Fines may be imposed in case of failure to notify.

  10. In relation to “foreign-to-foreign” mergers, do the jurisdictional thresholds vary?

    There is no special test for “foreign-to-foreign” mergers. A concentration between two foreign entities that meets the French thresholds must be notified and fines may be imposed for failure to notify.

  11. For voluntary filing regimes (only), are there any factors not related to competition that might influence the decision as to whether or not notify?

    Not applicable.

  12. Additional information: Jurisdictional Test

    Not applicable.

  13. What is the substantive test applied by the relevant authority to assess whether or not to clear the merger, or to clear it subject to remedies?

    The substantive test for clearance focuses on whether the concentration will significantly lessen competition, in particular by creating or reinforcing a dominant position or by creating or reinforcing buyer power that places suppliers in a situation of economic dependence (Article L.430-6 of the FCC).

    The FCA will determine the relevant markets for assessing the possible anticompetitive effects of the concentration. It will then analyse the possible non-coordinated effects whether horizontal, vertical or conglomerate. The FCA also assesses the operation’s coordinated effects. In particular, in the case of a joint venture, it examines the risk of coordination between the parent companies. The FCA takes into account the efficiency gains generated by the transaction to determine whether they are sufficient to compensate its restrictive effect. Notably, three cumulative conditions should be met: (a) the gains must be quantifiable and verifiable; (b) they must be specific to the transaction; and (c) a part of these gains must be passed on to consumers (para. 491 of the Merger Control Guidelines).

    At the end of this analysis, if the competitive assessment remains negative, the FCA examines the remedies proposed by the parties.

  14. Are non-competitive factors relevant?

    The FCA only takes into account factors related to competition in its investigation.

    That being said, the Minister of Economy may decide at the end of the in-depth review of a concentration by the FCA to authorize of prohibit a concentration based on non-competition public interest grounds. In particular, the Minister of Economy can base its decision on factors such as the industrial development, the maintaining of employment or the competitiveness of the undertakings in international competition (Article L.430-7-1 of the FCC).

  15. Are there different tests that apply to particular sectors?

    The press sector is governed by specific rules. Any acquisition of control of a printed daily general newspaper is prohibited if it results in the acquirer controlling more than 30% of the circulation of this type of newspaper in France (Article 11 of the Act of August 1, 1986). In addition, the FCA may examine the need to preserve media plurality when assessing mergers in the media sector.

    Moreover, a company which produces or supplies electricity or gas is prohibited from acquiring control of a company created after September 3, 2009 which manages a transportation network of electricity or gas in France (Article L.111-8 of the French Code of Energy).

  16. Are ancillary restraints covered by the authority’s clearance decision?

    The FCA’s clearance decisions cover ancillary restrictions provided that they are both necessary and directly related to the implementation of the transaction.

    Companies are required to self-assess whether their ancillary restrictions are covered by the FCA’s decision. For this purpose, the Merger Control Guidelines expressly refers to the guidance contained in the European Commission’s notice on ancillary restraints (paras. 484 to 487). In this respect, restrictions such as non-compete clauses in favour of the purchaser, licence agreements as well as purchase and supply contracts may be found to be ancillary restraints.

  17. For mandatory filing regimes, is there a statutory deadline for notification of the transaction?

    There is no statutory deadline for notification of a transaction to the FCA. However clearance is required prior to completion of the merger.

  18. What is the earliest time or stage in the transaction at which a notification can be made?

    Under Article L.430-3 of the FCC, parties may notify at any time as long as their project is sufficiently well advanced, notably after the publication of the public bid or once they have signed a letter of intent.

  19. What is the basic timetable for the authority’s review?

    The FCA’s review process is divided into two phases.

    • In the first phase (Phase 1), the FCA has 25 working days from the complete filing to adopt a decision, subject to extension or suspension (see below, Section 5.4) (Article L.430-5 of the FCC).

      At the end of Phase 1, the FCA may: (a) find that the transaction does not fall within the scope of French merger control; (b) authorise the concentration with or without remedies; or (c) open a second phase of (in-depth) review (Phase 2) if the concentration raises serious doubts as to its compatibility with competition on the relevant markets in France.

    • In Phase 2, the FCA has 65 working days to carry out an in-depth review of the transaction. Here again, this period may be suspended or extended (see below, Section 5.4) (Article L.430-7 of the FCC).

      At the end of Phase 2, the FCA may: (a) authorise the concentration with or without conditions; or (b) prohibit the transaction.

    If no decision has been issued once the deadlines of Phase 1 or, as the case may be, Phase 2 have expired, the concentration is deemed to be approved.

    Under the Merger Control Guidelines, working days do not include Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays (para. 182).

  20. Under what circumstances the basic timetable may be extended, reset or frozen?

    In Phase 1, the timetable may be extended by 15 working days if the parties offer commitments to remedy potential competition concerns (Article L.430-5 of the FCC). In Phase 2, the timetable may be extended by 20 workings if the parties offer commitments less than 20 working days before the expiry of the 65-day period (Article L.430-7 of the FCC).

    The review period may also be suspended:

    • at the request of the parties for 15 working days in Phase 1, and 20 working days in Phase 2, in case of specific need; or
    • by the FCA in Phases 1 and 2 without any time limit if the parties either: (a) fail to promptly inform the FCA of a new fact that should have been notified; (b) fail to provide information within the prescribed deadline; or (c) are responsible for a third party’s failure to provide information requested by the FCA.

    Moreover, parties must comply with the waiting period granted to the Minister of Economy (Article L.430-7-1 of the FCC):

    • At the end of Phase 1, the Minister of Economy can ask the FCA to conduct an in-depth examination of the concentration within 5 working days from the notification of the FCA’s decision.
    • At the end of Phase 2, the Minister of Economy may review the case and take a final decision on the concentration on public interest grounds within 25 working days from the notification of the FCA’s decision.
  21. Are there any circumstances in which the review timetable can be shortened?

    Under the Merger Control Guidelines the merger review procedure may be simplified in limited cases (paras. 163 to 171):

    • Transactions which are not likely to raise competition problems (i.e., when the buyer is not present on the same market as the one on which the target is operating);
    • Transactions in the retail trade sector which meet two conditions: (a) they meet the turnover thresholds applicable in the retail trade sector (Article L.430-2, II of the FCC) but fall below the general turnover thresholds (Article L.430-2, I of the FCC); and (b) they do not give rise to a change in the brand name of the retail stores concerned.
      In these cases the FCA may issue a simplified decision within 15 working days of the filing (para. 612 of the Merger Control Guidelines).

    The FCA is not bound however to follow the simplified procedure even where the conditions of eligibility are met. However, in its Merger Control Guidelines the FCA highlights the benefits of the shortened procedure and it has in practice been applied to a significant number of transactions reviewed by the FCA over the last few years.

  22. Which party is responsible for submitting the filing? Who is responsible for filing in cases of acquisitions of joint control and the creation of new joint ventures?

    The party(-ies) acquiring or retaining control is(are) responsible for filing a concentration (Article L.430-3 of the FCC). In cases of mergers, acquisitions of joint control and the creation of new joint ventures, both merging parties/parent companies are under an obligation of joint notification.

  23. What information is required in the filing form?

    The notification form is governed by Article R.430-2 of the FCC. The notification file must include the elements listed in annex 4-3 of Book IV of the regulatory part of the FCC: (a) a description of the transaction; (b) information on the identity of the parties involved and their business; (c) information on the relevant market(s) and an assessment of the market shares of the main players; and (d) a declaration that certifies that the notification is accurate and complete.

    The markets “concerned”, i.e., on which the concentration will have some influence, must be distinguished from the markets “affected” by the transaction, i.e., on which the parties concerned have a combined market share of more than 25% or from which a potential competitor would be eliminated. In the case of “affected” markets, additional information must be provided by the parties.

    Four hard copies of the filing and an electronic version of the document must be sent to the FCA.

    A “short form” filing notification with more limited information to be provided can be used for concentrations that meet the requirements of the simplified procedure (see above, Section 5.5). Notably, there is no requirement to provide an analysis of the relevant market(s) and the market shares of the parties and their main competitors in a “short form” filing notification.

  24. Which supporting documents, if any, must be filed with the authority?

    Certain documents listed in annex 4-3 of Book IV of the regulatory part of the FCC must be submitted along with a merger notification, including: (a) a copy of the agreement bringing about the concentration; (b) a non-confidential summary of the operation; (c) a presentation of the economic objectives of the transaction; (d) a list of the countries where the transaction is notifiable; (e) annual accounts; and (f) the last annual report. None of these documents requires notarisation or any types of certification.

    In principle, all documents must be translated in French. In practice, the FCA may accept in certain circumstances that the notifying parties submit documents in English or a French translation limited to the excerpts of documents that are relevant for its assessment.

    The notification form must be signed by or on behalf of the notifying party(-ies). Any representative signing the notification must submit a mandate establishing his/her power of representation.

  25. Is there a filing fee? If so, please specify the amount in local currency.

    There is no filing fee for merger notifications in France.

  26. Is there a public announcement that a notification has been filed?

    When a notification is received by the FCA, it publishes a notice containing summary information available on its website (Article L.430-3 of the FCC). The notice includes the names of the parties, the nature of the operation and the markets involved.

  27. Does the authority seek or invite the views of third parties?

    The FCA is empowered to contact third parties in the review process. Third parties, including competitors, suppliers, customers, or trade unions, may intervene in different ways: they may (a) submit spontaneous observations; (b) be consulted by way of questionnaires or hearings; (c) reply to a market test sent by the FCA; and/or (d) challenge the FCA’s final decision.

    Nonetheless, no automatic right to be informed is granted to third parties; they only have access to the information published on the FCA’s website.

    There is no exception for transactions that clearly do not raise any competition issues except that the FCA is unlikely to send market tests in such cases.

  28. What information may be published by the authority or made available to third parties?

    As indicated above (Section 6.5), once a transaction is notified, the FCA only publishes a brief notice of the transaction that comes from the non-confidential summary of the operation provided by the parties with the notification form. However, the parties’ notification itself, their supporting documents, and any submissions made during the proceedings (i.e., responses to questionnaires) are not made available.

    When the final decision is notified to the parties, the parties can ask the FCA within 15 calendar days not to refer to confidential information in the published version of the decision (Article R.430-7 of the FCC). The FCA is not bound by the requests for non-disclosure submitted by the parties and it may reject them if they would prevent third parties from understanding an essential element of the decision (para. 217 of the Merger Control Guidelines). Thereafter, the FCA publishes a non-confidential version of the decision on its website. There is no specific deadline binding the FCA in terms of publication of the decision.

  29. Does the authority cooperate with antitrust authorities in other jurisdictions?

    Within the European Competition Network, the FCA cooperates with other competition authorities in the EU. In particular, the FCA can communicate information to other national competition authorities within the EU and to the European Commission, and use information received from them.

    The FCA is also part of the Network of European Competition Authorities, which is composed of the competition authorities in the European Economic Area, and the International Competition Network.

    The FCA also cooperates on a bilateral basis with Algeria, Mauritius, Russia, Tunisia, Ukraine and the West African Economic and Monetary Union.
    In principle, there is no legal consequence if a party refuses to grant a waiver allowing its confidential information to be provided to another competition authority.

  30. What kind of remedies are acceptable to the authority? How often are behavioural remedies accepted in comparison with major merger control jurisdictions, such as the EU or US?

    In order to remedy any competition concerns identified, the FCA may accept two types of remedies in Phase 1 (Article L.430-5, II of the FCC) or in Phase 2 (Article L.430-7, III of the FCC): structural or behavioural remedies (or a combination of these two types of remedies). In each situation, the FCA will analyse the specific context to find the measures that best resolve the competition problems. In practice, the FCA prefers structural remedies but in certain cases, behavioural remedies may either remedy the competition issues on a standalone basis or supplement structural remedies. For instance, in the decision Altice/SFR (2014), Numéricable, Altice’s subsidiary, took both structural and behavioural undertakings (i.e., the commitment to allow competing operators to access its cable network).

    Concerning divestment remedies, the Merger Control Guidelines provide that third party purchasers of divestment businesses must be approved by the FCA as suitable. Notably, the buyer must be independent from the parties and have the adequate competence and financial capacity in order to develop the divested activity (para. 535). The buyer can be identified by the parties either (a) during the FCA’s investigation – in this case the FCA decides upfront if the buyer is appropriate before issuing its decision; (b) after the FCA issues its decision but before the actual completion of the transaction; or (c) after the clearance decision and the completion of the transaction within a prescribed timeframe as from the clearance decision (para. 536).

  31. What procedure applies in the event that remedies are required in order to secure clearance?

    Remedies can be offered by the parties either in Phase 1 or Phase 2. In Phase 1, the parties may submit remedies at any time within the 25 working days (Article L.430-5, II of the FCC). In Phase 2, the parties may submit remedies at any time within the 65 working days (Article L.430-7, II of the FCC). Once the commitments have been submitted, the FCA analyses whether they are sufficient to remedy the competition issue(s) identified – it can either reject or accept the parties’ offer. During its investigation, the FCA may decide to market test the remedies offered by the parties by interrogating third parties, such as customers, competitors, trade associations and consumer organisations.

    Remedies may also be imposed by the FCA in its clearance decision: the FCA may enjoin the parties to take measures to maintain competition on the market (Article L.430-7, III of the FCC).

    There are no precedents of the FCA accepting to waive a demand for a formal remedy when a remedy had already been agreed in another jurisdiction.

  32. What are the penalties for failure to notify, late notification and breaches of a prohibition on closing?

    If parties fail to notify a transaction (Article L.430-8, I of the FCC) or if the parties implement a transaction in breach of the FCA’s prohibition decision (Article L.430-8, V of the FCC), the FCA may (a) order the parties either to notify the transaction or to demerge, subject to a daily penalty payment of a maximum of 5% of their average daily turnover; and/or (b) impose on the parties liable for notification a fine of up to 5% of the previous financial year’s French turnover for corporate entities, and/or a fine of up to €1.5 million for individuals. Failure to notify has been fined several times by the FCA (e.g., the FCA imposed a €250 million fine on SNCF in 2008 for failing to notify the acquisition of Novatrans and a €400 million fine on the Reunica group in 2013 for failing to notify the acquisition of the Arpège group).

    If parties notify a concentration but then implement it before they receive the FCA’s approval (“gun jumping”), they may incur the same fine of up to 5% of the previous financial year’s French turnover for corporate entities, and/or a fine of up to €1.5 million for individuals (Article L.430-8, II of the FCC). Such a practice was sanctioned for the first time in France on 8 November 2016. Altice Luxembourg and SFR Group were fined €80 million for the premature completion of two mergers notified in 2014.

    In case of non-compliance with remedies imposed by the FCA, the notifying parties may also be fined, again up to 5% of their French turnover during the last financial year, or up to €1.5 million for individuals. The FCA may also (a) withdraw the decision authorising the operation (the parties will have to notify the transaction a second time within one month of the withdrawal of the decision); (b) enjoin the parties, subject to a periodic penalty – of a maximum of 5% of their average daily turnover – to comply with the orders, injunctions or commitments breached; or (c) enjoin the parties, subject to the same daily penalty, to comply with new injunctions or orders replacing the initial injunctions or orders breached (Article L.430-8, IV of the FCC). In the Vivendi/Canal Plus case (2011) the FCA withdrew its authorisation and imposed a fine of €30 million because of a breach of several remedies by Canal Plus. In the Bigard/Socopa case (2011), the FCA reviewed the initial injunctions imposed on the parties in order to clear the transaction, replacing the obligation to license a specific trademark by the obligation to sell such trademark.

    The fact that a transaction is foreign-to-foreign is not relevant in any of the situations described above and sanctions may be applied in the same circumstances.

  33. What are the penalties for incomplete or misleading information in the notification or in response to the authority’s questions?

    If the parties provide incomplete or misleading information in the notification, the FCA may (a) impose the same fines as noted above in Section 8.1 (i.e., 5% of the previous financial year’s French turnover for corporate entities, and €1.5 million for individuals); and/or (b) withdraw the decision authorising the concentration. In this case, the parties must notify the transaction a second time within one month of the withdrawal of the decision (Article L.430-8, III of the FCC).

    Moreover the FCA may (a) enjoin parties that have failed to reply on time to a request for information to do so, subject to a daily penalty of up to 5% of their average daily turnover; and/or (b) impose a fine of up to 1% of its highest worldwide turnover during the latest financial years on any company that has obstructed the investigation by providing incomplete or incorrect information (Article L.464-2, V of the FCC).

  34. Can the authority’s decision be appealed to a court? In particular, can third parties who are not involved in the transaction appeal the decision?

    Decisions by the FCA can be appealed by the parties concerned or by third parties before the French Supreme Court for Administrative Matters (Conseil d’Etat) under Article R.311-1 of the French Code of Administrative Justice.

    The period within which an appeal must be launched is two months from the date of notification of the FCA’s decision for the notifying parties, and two months from the date of publication of the decision for third parties.

    The appeal does not suspend the execution of the FCA’s decision, except if an action is lodged before the Conseil d’Etat through an emergency suspension procedure (référé suspension). In this case, the appealing party must prove that there are (a) emergency concerns and (b) serious doubts regarding the legality of the decision.

    Appeals generally take at least 18 months.

  35. What are the recent trends in the approach of the relevant authority to enforcement, procedure and substantive assessment?

    In 2015, the FCA adopted 192 clearance decisions, 6 of which required remedies. In 2016, the FCA adopted more than 200 clearance decisions, 6 of which required remedies in the sectors of energy, media and retail.

    The “Macron Bill” (Law No. 2015-990), which entered into force on August 6, 2015, introduced certain changes in the French merger control regime, namely in relation to the timeframes for merger assessment, the suspensive effect of merger filings and the remedies in case of non-compliance with commitments.

    Most notably, on 8 November 2016 the FCA imposed a fine of €80 million on Altice Luxembourg and SFR Group jointly and severally for implementing a transaction that had been notified before receiving the FCA’s approval. This was the first time ever that the FCA imposed a fine for behaviour commonly known as “gun-jumping”.

  36. Are there any future developments or planned reforms of the merger control regime in your jurisdiction?

    No reform of the merger control regime is currently planned in France.