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Professional bodies have existed in different forms since ancient times. At different times in history, professional bodies have been able to contribute to the structuring of professions or activities, from former merchant guilds to professional orders, including business unions in the IT or digital sector. The Autorité's interest in the activity of professional bodies goes back a long way. It is a fact that the functioning of professional bodies may be conducive to anticompetitive activities, in particular price agreements, anticompetitive exchanges of information or concerted actions aimed at slowing the development of competition.
The Autorité has therefore decided to help economic players anticipate this development, by dedicating a specific study to professional bodies.
Its purpose is to analyse, in light of decision-making practice and case law, behaviours of professional bodies that may be contrary to competition law but also to recall all the essential pro-competitive actions that they often put into place. The study is thus intended to be a "turnkey" tool to promote compliance procedures on the part of the professional bodies and of their members. I hope that this work will be useful to all and will, in the future, prevent and limit the "competitive risk" associated with the participation of companies in professional bodies and unions, and will constitute a vector of good practices.
Published on : January 27, 2021