Commercial Law — Commercial contracts — Certainty of the price in commercial contracts

Date Citation Note
09.07.1996 Com. 1346 Pourvoi n° 94-17612 Case Boisière v. Crédit Commercial de France This case applies the same principle to the calculation of interest under a commercial loan. Such transactions provide almost invariably that the rate of interest will change in accordance with the base rate of the lending bank. The borrower in this case tried to argue that this provision was void for uncertainty, citing Article 1129 of the Civil Code. The Court did not agree.
20.02.1996 Cour of Cassation First Civil Chambers Judgment N° 425 Dismissal Application for review n° 94-14. 074 Bull. Civ. Case Hildebrand v. Gaultier Same rule applied to the price of works carried out in a shop.
01.12.1995 Ass. Plén. 394 JCP G n° 2 10.01.96 p.31 Case Le Montparnasse v. GST-Alcatel–Bretagne Determination of the price in commercial contracts
Prior to this case, the Court of Cassation had held on several occasions that various types of commercial contracts, and particularly those relating to the long-time supply of substances such as beer to retailers or petrol to petrol stations, were null and void because annual price variations were fixed on the basis of, inter alia, the supplier’s general tariff. The motive was one of protecting the purchaser, perceived as being in a weak bargaining position as against the supplier; and the decisions were based on Article 1129 of the Civil Code, which provides, inter alia, that the extent of the subject matter of an obligation must be at least determinable. Before this line of cases, it had not been thought that this article applied to the determination of a price, since, in respect of sales contracts at least, the matter is governed by Article 1591. This case, decided by the full court, and dealing with the fixing of rental for telephone equipment, states quite bluntly that Article 1129 does not apply to the question of the determinability of price.