Press review
24 February 2023

Press review – Week of 20 February 2023

This week in the press review, Navacelle focuses on the cancelation of a record fine against Swiss laboratories for anti-competitive practices, searches regarding the President’s campaign financing, the incompetence of the French judiciary system to prosecute the PSG CEO on corruption charges, the Conseil d’Etat agreement to a journalist's request to publish the financial expenses of the Paris Mayor, the arrests occurred in a massive fake president scam, and the Question Prioritaire de Constitutionnalité (QPC) referred by the Cour de cassation on the legality of raids in government ministries.


Ophthalmology: Record fine for Novartis and Roche overturned on appeal

The two Swiss laboratories, initially fined more than 400 million euros for abusive practices by the Autorité de la Concurrence (French Competition Authority), were acquitted by the Cour d’appel de Paris (Paris Court of Appeal). They were accused of promoting sales of one ophthalmic drug to the detriment of another, thirty times less expensive, treating macular degeneration (AMD). The Court considered that no exclusionary behavior could be sanctioned because the less expensive drug was considered to be out of the market for the treatment of AMD and, therefore, the two drugs could not validly compete with each other. > Read article


McKinsey case: several searches in the investigation into the financing of Emmanuel Macron’s campaigns

Homes of several executives and former executives of the McKinsey consulting firm were searched on 31 January 2023 as part of two judicial investigations opened around the campaigns of Emmanuel Macron, and, more specifically, for non-compliant keeping of campaign accounts, preferential treatment, and concealment of preferential treatment. As a reminder, the Senate had raised a few months earlier a significant use of consulting firms, including the firm McKinsey, during the last presidential campaign.  > Read article


Suspicions of corruption on the sidelines of the World Athletics Championships: French courts lack jurisdiction to prosecute Nasser Al-Khelaïfi

In a ruling dated 16 February 2023, the Cour de cassation ruled that the French courts lacked jurisdiction to prosecute PSG and BeIn Sports CEO, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, for active bribery in connection with the awarding of the World Athletics Championships to Qatar. The Cour de cassation justified France’s lack of jurisdiction because of the indivisible nature of the acts committed in France and those committed abroad. By this decision, the charges against Nasser Al-Khelaifi and Yousif Al-Obaidli, Al Jazeera Sales Director, also implicated in this case, were cancelled.. > Read article


The Conseil d’Etat rules in favor of a journalist’s requesting Anne Hidalgo’s financial expenses

The Conseil d’Etat granted a Dutch journalist’s request to disclose the Paris mayor’s financial expenses for 2017. It asked the Paris mayor to re-examine the request within one month and ordered the city of Paris to pay the journalist 3,000€ in procedural costs. The journalist claimed to be hindered in his desire to publish an article on the mayor’s expenses during the year Anne Hidalgo traveled the world to support the Parisian bid for the 2024 Olympics. > Read article


“The fake president’s scam”: Paris entrepreneur swindled out of 38 million euros

The National Court for the Fight Against Organised Crime (Junalco) has dismantled a sophisticated network of fake president scam and money laundering. This network, active in France, Portugal, Israel, and Croatia, caused a damage of more than 38 million euros. Several people were arrested in France and Israel in June 2022 and January 2023. > Read article


Proceedings before the Investigating Committee of the Cour de justice de la République: Referral of a question prioritaire de constitutionnalité on searches conducted in a government ministry

On 17 February 2023, the Cour de Cassation referred a QPC to the Conseil constitutionnel on the Constitutional conformity of the lack of specific provisions to regulate searches in a government ministry. This QPC follows a search conducted in the premises of the Ministry of Justice in the context of an investigation for illegal taking of interest, whose legality was challenged by the Minister. The Court de Cassation ruled that the QPC is new and that the legislator has not specified the precise conditions under which searches may be conducted in government ministries. > Read article


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