Margaux Fodéré / Photo credits: OMAR TORRES / AFP 06:47, 09 October 2023The bill, which aims to bring forward the annual commercial negotiations between distributors and manufacturers, arrives this Monday in the Assembly. Except that in 2023, many things are no longer played in France. In addition to their national purchasing centres, some distributors have also set up or joined European purchasing centres based abroad.
In addition to their national purchasing centres, some major retailers have also created or joined European purchasing centres based abroad: Eurelec for Leclerc, based in Brussels, Eureca for Carrefour, based in Madrid, and Everest for Système U, based in the Netherlands. And with these super-power plants, distributors are suspected of circumventing French law. These suspicions are refuted by Système U and Leclerc. On the contrary, they defend a way to rebalance the balance of power with the industrialists.
This was the answer given by Philippe Michaud, the co-president of the Leclerc group, during a hearing before the economic committee of the National Assembly at the end of September. "We buy in common, not to circumvent any law, but to have sufficient weight in the face of industrialists whose size I remind you, and who are much larger than us in a country like France," he insisted.
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"The French state has already had the opportunity to act"
But these negotiations, which take place abroad, for products marketed in France, can be governed by French rules. This is what the Descrozail law reminds us of, precisely in order to fight against abuses. Nicolas Genty is a lawyer who assists manufacturers in their negotiations with distributors. "The French state has already had the opportunity to act. He sued a central purchasing agency for failing to meet the deadline," recalls Nicolas Genty.
In 2019, Bercy claimed several million euros from Eurelec, Leclerc's Belgian purchasing agency, before the Court of Justice of the European Union rejected this decision.