the Constitutional Council finds the e-merchant wrong

The Constitutional Council considered on Thursday “conform to the constitution“Provisions of the Commercial Code challenged by Amazon, certain commercial practices of which are denounced by Ilec, a professional organization which brings together the major brands of everyday consumption. “It’s a good decision, in line with what we expected“, reacted Daniel Diot, the secretary general of the Institute of liaisons of the companies of consumption (Ilec). “But this does not prejudge the decision that will be made on the merits by the judges.“, he added.

This decision follows a hearing in early 2022 with the Paris Commercial Court which confirmed that Ilec was well founded in its action, which Amazon disputed, said Daniel Diot. Following this judgment, the Constitutional Council was seized on July 7, 2022 by the Court of Cassation of a priority question of constitutionality raised by the defense of Amazon, which did not respond to the requests of the AFP.

The summons, which dates back to 2020, relates in particular to clauses deemed abusive or even exorbitant penalties imposed on Amazon suppliers. The provisions of the commercial code challenged by Amazon “do not violate the principle of equality or any other right or freedom guaranteed by the Constitution” and “must be declared constitutional“, Stated Thursday the instance in its decision. Amazon disputed the possibility for the “judge to carry out a control of the economic conditions of any commercial relationship, even though these conditions would be freely negotiated between the parties“.

Independent of this decision, Amazon has already been sentenced in 2019 by the Paris Commercial Court to a fine of 4 million euros for contractual clauses “obviously unbalancedtowards companies using the American e-commerce giant’s marketplace. The repression of fraud (DGCCRF), at the origin of the prosecution, had then noted an asymmetry in the balance of power between Amazon and the companies wishing to sell through it. Ilec brings together 90 manufacturers of consumer branded products (PGC), of national and international renown, food and non-food. These companies weigh 42 billion euros in turnover in supermarkets.


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