Following evidence sent by the DGCCRF, the Autorité's Investigation services opened an investigation into the labelling criteria for an ethical charter, called ETHIBAT, set up by the French Construction and Public Works Federation of Haute-Garonne (FBTP 31). The labelling process could appear to be lacking in transparency, although the label was a prerequisite for businesses wanting to respond to the calls for tender of certain social housing providers that were partners of the FBTP 31.
During the investigation, to respond to the concerns raised, the FBTP 31 took certain measures to guarantee the compatibility of the scheme with competition rules:
- the ETHIBAT label was made part of a corporate social responsibility (CSR) type approach;
- the scope of the charter’s commitments that could undermine the principles of free movement and the internal market was reduced;
- the labelling method was clarified;
- the impact of the label on the calls for tender of the social housing providers who were partners in the scheme was limited.
Considering the fact that these initiatives promoted competition in the Construction and Public Works market in Haute-Garonne, the Autorité's Investigation services closed the investigation against the FBTP 31.