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Reunion and competition law: beware of sanctions in 2019!

The French competition authority recently published a press release which should warn companies present in Reunion on their compliance with competition law.

The French overseas departments and territories have a particular geographic location which causes competition issues specific to them. Reunion is in particular part of it by its insular character. Indeed, some companies often find themselves, de facto or de jure, to be a sole distributor in this type of territory. The quasi-monopoly situations in these ultra-marine markets are the causes and the consequences of illicit agreements or abuse of a dominant position liable to be punished heavily.

The legislator also takes into account these notorious risks: article L 420-2-1 of the Commercial Code has provided since 2012 that agreements having the object or effect of granting exclusive import rights to a company or to a group of companies are prohibited.

It is therefore strongly recommended that companies operating in La Réunion pay close attention to their distribution methods. The authority has indeed published a press release on January 11, 2019, informing that one of its priority axes for the year 2019 will relate to the control of the competitive problems in the overseas departments and territories. An opinion should be given in the first half of the year on this subject.

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