In this period of crisis, can I collude with my competitors to avoid a price war and, more generally, limit competition so that the greatest number of us can survive?

The answer is negative, as “emergency cartels” remain prohibited.  Including in times of crisis, competition law continues to be enforceable and enforced without exception.  It prohibits operators, whatever their size, from agreeing to restrict competition, for example by exchanging their price list, by fixing sales prices by mutual agreement to avoid a price war or by sharing markets, calls for tenders or customers.

However the European Commission and the national competition authorities of the European States released that they understand the current situation may trigger the need for operators to cooperate in order to ensure the supply and fair distribution of scarce products to all consumers.  Specifically, they stated that they will not actively intervene against necessary and temporary measures put in place in order to avoid a shortage of supply.


Partner - Competition law
Attorney at the Paris Bar, Jérémy Bernard is a partner of Delcade Avocats & Solicitors.

He has developed a practice covering EU and French competition and distribution law as well as the regulation of liberalized sectors, litigation and arbitration.

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