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Companies often associate competition rules with public enforcement. However, competition law can also be a source of compensation. The new French Order and Decree, which together implement Directive 2014/104/EU on actions for damages for infringements of competition law provisions, simplify the task victims of infringements of competition law face when they claim damages by creating a number of presumptions in their favour.

Authors: Lucile Chneiweiss Marc Lévy Natasha Tardif

Competition authorities, including the French Competition Authority (the FCA), impose increasingly heavy fines on companies that infringe competition rules. In parallel to this, private claims aimed at repairing the harm suffered by the victims of anti-competitive practices exist, but until now such claims have not been made to the extent possible.

However, a framework for private claims for damages in France has now been provided by Order No. 2017-303 of 9 March 2017 (the Order) and its supplemental decree (the Decree).

These rules are aimed at increasing the efficiency of private enforcement of competition rules and, therefore, ensuring full compensation of the victims of anti-competitive practices. However, they also try to set an appropriate balance between such private enforcement and effective public enforcement of competition law by competition authorities.