A sum that will chill some. The Competition Authority imposed, Thursday, January 13, fines totaling 1.34 million euros on bailiffs in Paris and Seine-Saint-Denis, guilty of illegal “agreements” undermining the freedom of installation introduced by the Macron law. “The Authority considered that the conditions of membership of the Paris Service Office (BSP) and the Civil Society of Resources for Studies and Grouping of Judicial Officers of Seine-Saint-Denis (SCM 93) undermined the competition,” she said in a statement.

“On the one hand, joining these common structures confers a decisive competitive advantage on their members and on the other hand, these conditions (of membership) have been defined or applied in a non-objective, non-transparent and discriminatory manner”, judge the Authority. As a result, a fine of 858,800 euros was imposed on the BSP and its members, while the members of SCM 93 will have to pay 485,350 euros.

“Non-transparent and discriminatory membership conditions”

The two structures sanctioned on Thursday, which bring together several offices of judicial officers, had been created with the aim of reducing the cost price of certain services. “Before the entry into force of Law No. 2015-990 of August 6, 2015 (known as the “Macron Law”), the BSP and the SCM 93 thus brought together all or almost all the offices of judicial officers of each of the two departments concerned”, according to the French competition policeman.

In reaction to the said law which widened access to the profession of bailiff, the statutes of the two structures “have been the subject of several modifications to include non-objective, non-transparent and discriminatory conditions of membership”.

On the one hand, the BSP and the SCM 93 required bailiffs wishing to join to present an accreditation, without specifying the terms of its issuance. On the other hand, a “prohibitive” entrance fee was introduced, of 100,000 then 300,000 euros in the capital and 100,000 euros in Seine-Saint-Denis. “The BSP has also imposed on candidates for membership to meet non-transparent, non-objective and discriminatory IT prerequisites to access its services”, further details the Competition Authority.

In addition to the fine imposed on the Parisian bailiffs, the competition policeman “has made the commitments proposed by the BSP compulsory, which provide, in particular, that the offices resulting from the freedom of installation benefit during their first year of use services of the BSP at service rates reduced by 15%.”

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