Pronuptia de Paris v. Schillgalis: Permissible Restraints of Trade on Franchising in the EEC

Hurley, Eileen R. | January 1, 1987

This Note examines the Pronuptia decision for the legal definition and substantial support it gives to the franchising concept. 14 When compared to the Court’s prior decision in Etablissements Consten SARL and Grundig-Verkaufs-GmbH v. Commission, 5 Pronuptia is seen to promote a more liberal interpretation of the EEC Treaty’s competition article, Article 85. However, Pronuptia falls short of the advances made in Nungesser KG v. Commission,16 because some territorial restraints allowed under Article 85(1) in that case were not permitted in Pronuptia. The Court’s approach in Pronuptia to the doctrine of ancillary restraints is also discussed. Use of this doctrine is a step forward in a “rule of reason” analysis in which the Court may be engaged in the future.’7 Reactions to the case from the Commission and the international franchise community are reported.’ 8 Finally, the Note evaluates the Pronuptia decision in light of the economic goals that it has advanced, and the legal certainty that it has given to the burgeoning economic force of franchising.