Most Frenchies are the same, in that they are usually delivered by c-section to reduce the risk of puppies getting stuck in the birth canal and dying.
We have had these for almost 4 yrs now, but a couple years ago Martha Stewart got one, and thier prices really went up. Ours are just pets though...both are fixed.
As far as being close to English Bulldogs, they probably are way back as the breed was supposedly developed when English laborers took their small Bulldogs to Europe/France, and bred them with local small dogs.
They also have similar base stock heritage to Boston terriers I am told, but have been selected for different traits over the last century.