Language of document :

Request for a preliminary ruling from the Cour de cassation (France) lodged on 14 December 2015 — Président de l’Autorité de la concurrence v Association des producteurs vendeurs d’endives (APVE), Association Comité économique régional agricole fruits et légumes de Bretagne (Cerafel), Société Fraileg, Société Prim’Santerre, Union des endiviers, Société Soleil du Nord, Comité économique fruits et légumes du Nord de la France (Celfnord), Association des producteurs d’endives de France (APEF), Section nationale de l’endive (SNE), Fédération du commerce de l’endive (FCE), Société France endives, Société Cambrésis Artois-Picardie endives (CAP’Endives), Société Marché de Phalempin, Société Primacoop, Société Coopérative agricole du marais audomarois (Sipema), Société Valois-Fruits, Société Groupe Perle du Nord, Ministre de l’économie, de l’industrie et du numérique

(Case C-671/15)

Language of the case: French

Referring court

Cour de cassation

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: Président de l’Autorité de la concurrence

Defendants: Association des producteurs vendeurs d’endives (APVE), Association Comité économique régional agricole fruits et légumes de Bretagne (Cerafel), Société Fraileg, Société Prim’Santerre, Union des endiviers, Société Soleil du Nord, Comité économique fruits et légumes du Nord de la France (Celfnord), Association des producteurs d’endives de France (APEF), Section nationale de l’endive (SNE), Fédération du commerce de l’endive (FCE), Société France endives, Société Cambrésis Artois-Picardie endives (CAP’Endives), Société Marché de Phalempin, Société Primacoop, Société Coopérative agricole du marais audomarois (Sipema), Société Valois-Fruits, Société Groupe Perle du Nord, Ministre de l’économie, de l’industrie et du numérique

Questions referred

Can agreements, decisions or practices of producer organisations, associations of producer organisations and professional organisations which could be classified as anticompetitive under Article 101 TFEU escape the prohibition laid down in that article on the sole ground that they could be linked to the responsibilities assigned to those organisations under the common organisation of the market, even if they are not covered by any of the general derogations provided for in turn by Article 2 of Regulation (EEC) No 26 of 4 April 1962 1 and Regulation (EC) No 1184/2006 of 24 July 2006, 2 and by Article 176 of Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 of 22 October 2007? 3

If so, must Article 11(1) of Regulation (EC) No 2200/1996, 4 Article 3(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1182/2007 5 and the first paragraph of Article 122 of Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007, which include, among the objectives assigned to producer organisations and their associations, those of stabilising producer prices and adjusting production to demand, particularly in terms of quantity, be interpreted as meaning that practices whereby those organisations or their associations collectively fix minimum prices, concert on the quantities placed on the market or exchange strategic information escape the prohibition of anticompetitive agreements, decisions and practices in so far as they are aimed at achieving those objectives?

____________

1 Council: Regulation (EEC) No 26 of 4 April 1962 applying certain rules of competition to production of and trade in agricultural products.

2 Council Regulation (EC) No 1184/2006 of 24 July 2006 applying certain rules of competition to the production of, and trade in, agricultural products (OJ 2006 L 214, p. 7).

3 Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 of 22 October 2007 establishing a common organisation of agricultural markets and on specific provisions for certain agricultural products (OJ 2007 L 299, p. 1).

4 Council Regulation (EC) No 2200/96 of 28 October 1996 on the common organization of the market in fruit and vegetables (OJ 1996 L 297, p. 1).

5 Council Regulation (EC) No 1182/2007 of 26 September 2007 laying down specific rules as regards the fruit and vegetable sector, amending Directives 2001/112/EC and 2001/113/EC and Regulations (EEC) No 827/68, (EC) No 2200/96, (EC) No 2201/96, (EC) No 2826/2000, (EC) No 1782/2003 and (EC) No 318/2006 and repealing Regulation (EC) No 2202/96 (OJ 2007 L 273, p. 1).