Vanderbilt Law Review


John W. Reboul

First Page



The French antitrust laws, now more than twelve years old, resist comparison with those of the United States, and they should not be approached with the belief that any country that has adopted legislation which speaks of competition has also adopted the American attitude toward competition. The attitude that has guided the application of the French antitrust laws seems to be the new French belief in economic expansion and active governmental intervention. The French defeat in the war discredited prewar economic doctrines which emphasized stability, and there has been an almost universal endorsement of theories of economic expansion. One commentator went so far as to attribute the economic recovery in France primarily to "the restaffing of the economy with new men and to new French attitudes." Since the war the government has intervened in the economy with price controls, nationalizations, long-range programs of economic planning, and measures of selective promotion and protection. The French antitrust laws should be viewed as a part of this intervention. They are not weapons to strike down private agreements so as to allow competition to regulate the economy. The aims of this postwar governmental intervention may be suggested by a brief examination of the attitudes of the French Planning Commission.