The Publication of the Results of the Government's Public Consultation on the Class Action
On December 18th, 2012, the results of the public consultation on the class action :
- the ministers' press release,
- the synthesis by the General Directorate for Fair Trading, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF),
- the opinion of the National Consumption Committee (CNC).
More than 7150 people answered the DGCCRF's online questionnaire.
In their press release, without going further into detail, Pierre Moscovici (Minister of Economy and Finance of France) and Benoit Hamon (Minister for the Social Economy at the French Ministry of the Economy, Finance, and External Trade) mention a "consensus" on the class action, and a "high expectation" of its introduction into French law. The lack of published responses prevents us from knowing more, even if it can be noted, without surprise, that the CNC takes no position on the class action, but rather asks its application be limited, if required, to only authorized consumer associations that are representative on a national scale.
April, in its answer to the consultation, had especially underscored the dangers posed by bundled sale, and the importance for consumers of finally being able to acquire computers in the mainstream market without having to pay for software. These questions, along with these suggestions about individuals likely to represent consumers, are not mentioned in the various press releases. As a reminder, in particular we proposed:
"On the question of people likely to undertake a class action suit, monitoring measures are needed to avoid any excesses; however, these monitoring measures should finally be sufficiently open, to ensure that all relevant structures be able to act, so that computer-user rights might be respected. To the extent that as large a number of domains as possible should be covered by the class action, it seems difficult to identify beforehand and exhaustively all the organizations that could be relevant. Thus, the possibility of supporting a lawsuit should be granted both to organizations that have been authorized, like the consumer associations, and to organizations on an ad hoc basis, through authorization by the judges. To avoid deviations and abuses, organizations should be able to demonstrate a minimum lifespan to prove their legitimacy."