Selective distribution

Anticompetitive practices

Quantitative selective distribution: The Cour de cassation considers that quantitative criteria should have a precise content that can be verified but that it is not necessary to objectively justify the quantitative criterion chosen (Seeb/Castes)
Fidal (Paris La défense)
Cass. com. 15 janvier 2013, n° 10-12.734 La Cour de cassation approuve la Cour d’appel de Montpellier d’avoir condamné pour rupture brutale un fournisseur qui avait rompu la relation avec son distributeur exclusif du fait d’un changement de dirigeant social de ce dernier suite à la cession de (...)

Réseaux de distribution et droit de la concurrence
MAPP (Paris)
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Vogel & Vogel
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French Competition Authority (Paris)
Paradoxalement, le droit de la concurrence constitue aujourd’hui souvent davantage une arme de défense que de contestation des réseaux, notamment contre certaines règles de droit national. En tant qu’instrument de contestation des réseaux, le droit de la concurrence est principalement utilisé soit (...)

The German Competition Authority closes proceedings after the company amended its conditions for online sales of sport shoes in such a way that they comply with competition law (Adidas)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Adidas abandons ban on sales via online market places* The Bundeskartellamt has closed its proceedings against adidas AG (adidas) after the company amended its conditions for online sales in such a way that they comply with competition law. adidas operates a selective distribution system (...)

The German Competition Authority investigates an absolute prohibition to use online marketplaces and price comparison engines imposed on the dealers by a supplier of sports goods (Asics)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Bundeskartellamt raises objections against ASICS’s restrictions of online sale* On 24 April 2014 the Bundeskartellamt issued a press release stating that, based on preliminary investigation, it has found that ASICS Deutscheland’s selective distribution system restricts competition among its (...)

The German Competition Authority finds that a selective distribution system, which allows for the sale of running shoes to final customers only via authorised dealers poses a number of serious restraints to competition (Asics)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt takes a critical view of restriction of online distribution by ASICS* After a preliminary examination the Bundeskartellamt has found that the selective distribution system of ASICS Deutschland, which allows for the sale of running shoes to final customers only via authorised (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal reduces by almost 99 percent the penalty imposed by the French Competition Authority on a manufacturer for prohibiting the sale of its products online to the members of its selective distribution network (Bang & Olufsen)
Dunaud Clarenc Combles & Associés
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Dechert (Paris)
In its judgment of March 13, 2014, the Paris Court of appeal (Court of Appeal) reduced by almost 99 per cent the penalty imposed by the French Competition Authority (FCA) on Bang & Olufsen (B&O) in its decision of December 12, 2012 (Decision) for having, since 2001, prohibited the (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office is satisfied with the modified agreements which now allow authorized dealers to sell online (Sennheiser)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
German Federal Cartel Office spares Sennheiser’s online policy from scrutiny* On 24 October 2013 the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) stated (available only in German) that it will not open formal proceedings against Sennheiser, a manufacturer of consumer electronic products, following recent (...)

The French Civil Supreme Court misinterprets the Pierre Fabre ECJ jurisprudence and quashes a distribution agreement provision on the basis of Article 101 TFEU (Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
In a decision issued on September 24, 2013, the French Court of Cassation decided a case about vertical restraints involving Pierre Fabre dermo-cosmétique (PFDC) and three of its distributors: Caribéenne de diététique et santé (CDS), Compagnie de diététique du marin (CDM) and Martinique alimentation (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines on account of vertical price fixing practices on the market for distribution of natural cosmetics (Dr. Hauschka)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Fine imposed on WALA Heilmittel GmbH for vertical price fixing practices involving Dr Hauschka cosmetics products* Bonn, 31 July 2013: Today the Bundeskartellamt has imposed fines amounting to a total of approx. € 6.5 million on WALA Heilmittel GmbH, Bad Boll, and representatives of the (...)

The EU General Court dismisses the parallel actions brought by two diamonds dealers against the Commission’s decisions not to open an antitrust investigation into certain distribution agreements established by world’s largest producer of rough diamonds (BVGD, Spira, De Beers)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction Any natural or legal person who can show a legitimate interest may lodge a complaint concerning an antitrust infringement as stipulated by article 7 of the Regulation No 1/2003. The Commission is not required to investigate each of the complaints lodged with it, but only to (...)

The German Competition Authority concludes a cartel administrative proceeding against an ophthalmologists cooperative and a health insurance fund (Augenärztegenossenschaft Brandenburg / AOK Nordost)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt opens up competition among ophthalmologists from different federal states in Germany* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded a cartel administrative proceeding against the Brandenburg ophthalmologists cooperative "Augenärztegenossenschaft Brandenburg" and the health insurance fund (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal rules that dermo-cosmetic products do not have objective properties justifying the prohibition of their sale on the Internet (Pierre Fabre)
Vogel & Vogel
In answer to the question of whether a general and absolute ban on selling cosmetics and personal care products online constitutes a hardcore restriction of competition by object, the European Court of Justice said that yes it did, if "having regard to the properties of the products at issue, (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal dismisses an action from a cosmetics manufacturer against a decision of the French Competition Authority that sanctioned it for prohibiting its authorised distributors from Internet sales (Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique)
Kalliopé Société d’Avocats
On 31 January 2013, the Paris Court of Appeal ("the Court") dismissed an action by Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique SAS ("Pierre Fabre") against a decision of the French Competition Authority ("the FCA") dated 29 October 2008 ("the Decision") ordering Pierre Fabre to amend its selective (...)

The French Civil Supreme Court rules on automotive quantitative selective distribution agreements (Auto 24 SARL, Jaguar Land Rover)
Jones Day (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
The Cour de cassation, France’s highest court for judicial matters, rendered a judgment on 15 January 2013 in a case involving Jaguar’s distribution agreements in France. The judgment follows an earlier ruling on the matter by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), from which the Cour (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a manufacturer which prohibited internet sales by its distributors (Bang & Olufsen)
Google (Paris)
Ten years! It took no less than ten years to decide whether it is lawful for a manufacturer to prevent online sales to its distributors. Compared to the speed at which businesses evolve on the internet, that is as if the conduct subject to scrutiny lasted half a century… In February 2002, the (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fine totalling € 8.2 M for vertical resale price maintenance in tools selective distribution system (Tooltechnic)
European Commission (Brussels)
Germany: The Bundeskartellamt imposes Fines for Vertical Resale Price Maintenance in Tools Selective Distribution System* On 20 August 2012, the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) imposed a fine totalling € 8 200 000 on TTS Tooltechnic Systems Deutschland GmbH (Tooltechnic). This case concerns high (...)

The French Supreme Court rules on selective distribution networks and outside-network sales made on online auction website (eBay)
Vogel & Vogel
Four perfume brands have filed a legal action against the world’s number-one online auction site, eBay: they accuse eBay of allowing on its sites the sale by non-authorized third parties of products covered by a selective distribution channel. The judge found that eBay, a site bringing together (...)

The Croatian High Administrative Court rules on the compatibility of a selective distribution network in the automobile sector with the block exemption regulation (Sanabilis Citroen)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 22 February 2012 the High Administrative Court (VUS) upheld the decision of the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN), which found no anti-competitive practices in the distribution of Citroen automobiles in Croatia. The exclusive importer of Citroen automobiles in Croatia Citroen Hrvatska (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Mazak recommends that prohibition on internet sales be per se infringement (Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique)
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
On March 3, 2011, Advocate General (AG) Mazák delivered an opinion to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique SAS (PFDC). PFDC, a French manufacturer of cosmetics and personal care products, prohibited its retailers from selling via the Internet. AG Mazák advised the (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal reduces damages awarded for sales of perfumes through a website by unauthorised distributors (eBay, Parfums Christian Dior, Kenzo Parfums, Parfums Givenchy, and Guerlain)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 3 September 2010, the Paris Court of Appeal delivered its judgment in a case between eBay and SA Parfums Christian Dior, SA Kenzo Parfums, SA Parfums Givenchy, and SA Guerlain (which are perfume and cosmetics suppliers belonging to the LVMH group – hereinafter the “LVMH group”). On 30 June (...)

A French Court rules on refusal by motor vehicle manufacturers to examine applications of dealers to be reappointed to their respective distribution networks (Groupe Volkswagen France)
Van Bael & Bellis
In two separate judgments that were handed down in June 2010, the Commercial Court of Versailles and the Paris Court of Appeal awarded damages to former dealers of SA Nissan France (“Nissan”) and SA Groupe Volkswagen France (“VW”) respectively, whose dealership agreements were terminated by the (...)

A French Court rules on refusal by motor vehicle manufacturers to examine applications of dealers to be reappointed to their respective distribution networks (Nissan France)
Van Bael & Bellis
In two separate judgments that were handed down in June 2010, the Commercial Court of Versailles and the Paris Court of Appeal awarded damages to former dealers of SA Nissan France (“Nissan”) and SA Groupe Volkswagen France (“VW”) respectively, whose dealership agreements were terminated by the (...)

The EU Commission publishes new block exemption regulations and guidelines on vertical restrictions
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Internet distribution – The European Commission publishes new rules on vertical agreements* On 20 April 2010, the European Commission published the revised Block Exemption Regulation and the Guidelines on Vertical Restraints. The long awaited Block Exemption Regulation (the “BER”) and the (...)

The European Commission adopts new rules on vertical restraints
European Commission (Brussels)
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Macchi di Cellere Gangemi (London)
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Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
On April 20, 2010, the European Commission adopted a new Regulation (No 330/2010) listing the conditions under which vertical restraints are exempt from the prohibition on anti-competitive agreements (defined by Article 101(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, «TFEU», (...)

A Dutch Court rules on refusal to appoint motor vehicle dealers to a motor vehicle selective distribution network (Kia)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 3 December 2009, the President of the Amsterdam Court of First Instance (the “President”) accepted an interim proceedings claim brought by four former Kia Nederland BV (“KIA Nederland”) repairers. The repairers claimed that KIA Motors Nederland BV (“KIA Motors”), which replaced KIA Nederland as (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Karlsruhe decides that sales via an internet auction platform can be prohibited in a selective distribution system which does not fall under Sec. 1 ARC/Art. 101 TFEU if the selection criteria are objective and applied in a non-discriminatory manner (Scout-Schulranzen)
Gleiss Lutz (Frankfurt)
On 25 November 2009, the Higher Regional Court of Karlsruhe confirmed a judgement of the Regional Court of Mannheim and therewith dismissed the appeal of the plaintiff. The question at stake was whether the defendant Scout had an obligation to supply an authorised distributor of a selective (...)

A French Court of Appeal makes a reference for a preliminary ruling to the ECJ on whether a general and absolute ban on Internet sales by approved distributors does constitute a “hardcore restriction” on competition by object within the meaning of Art. 81.1 EC (Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
In a judgment dated 29 October 2009, the French Court of Appeal made a reference for a preliminary ruling under article 234 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (the “EC Treaty”), whereby the ECJ was asked to answer “the question whether a general and absolute ban on Internet sales to (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office imposes a fine on the producer of hearing devices for having threatened or inflicted disadvantages on another company in order to induce a certain retail price level for the resale of hearing devices (Phonak)
Linklaters (Dusseldorf)
Description of the impugned case The case deals with an indirect RPM clause. The producer of hearing devices provided lists with recommended prices containing minimum and maximum sale prices for hearing devices. One of the dealers offered the products significantly below the recommended prices (...)

A Dutch Court of appeal rules that termination by supplier of distribution contract under pressure from competing distributors is concerted practice (Batavus - Vriend)
Van Doorne (Amsterdam)
I. Introduction This judgment of the Court of Appeal of Leeuwarden (“the Court”) is the latest in a series of judgments in a long running dispute relating to the termination in 2001 by Batavus B.V. (“Batavus”), a bicycle manufacturer, of its long term business relations with a retailer, Vriend’s (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the review of EC Regulation 2790/99 and of the European guidelines on vertical restraints
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence welcomes the modernization undertaken by the European Commission and recommends that the Commission better explains the balance it intends to guarantee between online trade and (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office fines € 11.5 million a contact lens provider for fixing minimum resale prices and restricting Internet and wholesale sales of its products (CIBA)
Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson (London)
On September 25, 2009, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) levied a fine of €11.5 million against contact lens provider CIBA Vision Vertriebs GmbH (CIBA) for fixing minimum resale prices and restricting Internet and wholesale sales of its products. This is the third decision imposed by the (...)

The European Commission publishes for consultation drafts of the vertical agreements block exemption regulation and vertical guidelines
Van Bael & Bellis
On 28 July 2009, the European Commission published for consultation a draft of the proposed new Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Regulation (VABER) and its accompanying draft Vertical Guidelines. Interested parties are invited to submit comments on these documents by 28 September 2009. The (...)

A German court rules on restrictions on sales through auction websites in the context of selective distribution (Sternjakob)
Van Bael & Bellis
In a judgment of 21 April 2009, the Regional Court of Berlin (the Court) concluded that restrictions on sales through eBay imposed by a supplier of school bags on its selective distributors would be anti-competitive. According to this judgment, Sternjakob, a manufacturer of school bags, had (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority finds illegal vertical resale price fixing without imposing fine (Castrol Hungária)
Oppenheim
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Oppenheim - Budapest
Description of the impugned case The case concerned a straightforward RPM arrangement (minimum prices). Analysing the wording and the context of the relevant clause, the HCO found that it indeed contained an RPM arrangement and did not accept Castrol Hungária’s defence that the minimum prices (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority annulls the price-fixing agreements concluded between a mobile phone operator and its distributors (VIPnet)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
VIPnet d.o.o. (VIPnet) is a Croatian mobile telecom operator established in 1998 by the Mobilkom Austria AG. VIPnet provides its services through a network of “partners” and “wholesalers”. “Partners” sell VIPnet’s products and services directly to the final consumers on the VIPnet’s account. (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority condemns vertical resale price fixing agreement concluded between a wholesaler of medicines and pharmacies but without imposing a fine (Hungaropharma)
Oppenheim
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Oppenheim - Budapest
Description of the impugned case The case concerned a straightforward RPM arrangement, where the pharmacies, in their agreements concluded with a wholesaler of medicines (Hungaropharma), agreed to maintain (discounted) resale prices. Due to the wording and context of the arrangement, the HCO (...)

The French NCA fines a cosmetics manufacturer for prohibiting its selective distributors from selling its products on the Internet (Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique)
Simmons & Simmons (Paris)
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Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
On 29 October 2008, the French French Competition Council (Conseil de la concurrence) (the “Council") fined Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique, a cosmetics and personal hygiene products manufacturer, 17,000 Euros for having prohibited its selective distributors from selling products made by its (...)

The French NCA sanctions the prohibition of Internet sales imposed on the members of a selective distribution network, under Art. 81.1 EC (Pierre Fabre Dermo-cosmétique)
White & Case (Paris)
In a decision n° 08-D-25 dated 29 October 2008 (hereinafter the “Decision”), the French Competition Council sanctioned Pierre Fabre Dermo-cosmétique for prohibiting its selected distributors from selling personal care and cosmetic products under the Klorane, Avène, Ducray and Galénic brands on the (...)

The Paris Commercial Court finds a leading brokerage platform for remote electronic bidding liable for the infringement of selective distribution networks and unlawful acts committed against perfumers on its sites (eBay)
Vogel & Vogel
Four perfumers sue eBay, the world’s foremost brokerage platform for remote electronic bidding, for having permitted, in violation of their rights, the sale of products marketed through unauthorized channels and counterfeit sales on its sites. eBay disputed the competence of the French courts (...)

The Paris Commercial Court condemns a leading auction website to pay damages to perfume makers for a violation of their selective distribution networks (eBay)
Altana Law (Paris)
On 30 June 2008, the Commercial Court of Paris (Tribunal de Commerce de Paris) rendered three important decisions condemning the international auction website eBay mainly for its participation to an infringement of the IP rights of six manufacturers of luxury products belonging to the Louis (...)

A French Court of appeal rejects a request to forbid Internet resellers to sell a supplier’s products considering that the legality of its exclusive distribution network is not established (Brandalley, Over Stock / Puma)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Paris)
French courts are more and more solicited by suppliers claiming that online resellers or platforms violate their selective and/or exclusive distribution networks. We all remember the decisions recently rendered by the Paris commercial court in favour of LVMH against ebay . In a similar case, (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office holds, in relation to the distribution of energy drinks, that selective resale price fixing is not a hardcore restriction (Büki Ásványvíz- és Üditõital Kereskedelmi)
Morley Allen & Overy Iroda (Budapest)
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MVM OVIT (Budapest)
Background In its decision of 14 May 2008 (GVH Decision), the Competition Council of the Hungarian Competition Office (GVH) terminated the proceedings against Büki Ásványvíz- és Üditõital Kereskedelmi Kft. (Büki Ásványvíz), with respect to certain restraints in vertical agreements concluded by the (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal upholds the legality of two restrictions on Internet sales by authorised retailers within a selective distribution network (PMC Distribution / Pacific Création)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
In its decision dated 18 April 2008, S.A.R.L. PMC Distribution vs. S.A.S. Pacific Création, the Paris Court of Appeal (the "Court") takes part in the debate on the legal regime of Internet sales within selective distribution systems. Pacific Création, an undertaking which manufactures and (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms the possibility for a fragrance manufacturer to exclude pure players and to restrict internet sales within its selective distribution network (PMC Distribution / Pacific Création)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
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Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Paris)
Facts and Ruling In the present case, the dispute arose between Pacific Creation, a fragrance manufacturer and retailer and PMC Distribution (PMC), a pure player which offers branded products exclusively on the Internet. In France, Pacific Creation‘s fragrances are retailed through a selective (...)

A French court rules that parallel resales do constitute an act of unfair competition (Puma / France Telecom, Brandalley, Vanam)
EDHEC Business School
France Telecom, Brandvalley and Vanam companies have been sued in France by Puma France Company for distributing Puma brand products on a website, whereas they weren’t members of the Puma distribution system. Puma France filed a claim to the Strasbourg Court of First Instance for emergency (...)

The French Competition Authority makes compulsory commitements made to address competition concerns in the sector of car repair (Citroën)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Conseil de la concurrence strengthens competition in the sector of car repair: Independent repairers will now have access to all Citroën’s tools necessary for repairing electronic breakdowns on the brand’s (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions a chocolate manufacturer for preventing distribution retailers from stocking up from the supplier of their choosing (Léonidas)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Chocolate distribution: The Conseil de la concurrence penalizes Léonidas to €120, 000 for preventing distribution retailers from stocking up from the supplier of their choosing.* Following a referral by the (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts the commitments taken by 10 companies of the cosmetic industry to introduce more competition into online sale of their products (Bioderma & Rogé Cavaillès)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Conseil de la concurrence facilitates online sale of cosmetic products: 10 companies of the cosmetic industry committed to introduce more competition into online sale of their products.* The Conseil de la (...)

The French Competition Council agrees to commitments from Hi-Fi and Home Cinema equipment suppliers in order to allow their selective distributors to carry out online selling (Hi-Fi/Home Cinema)
Simmons & Simmons (Paris)
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Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
On 5 October 2006, the Conseil de la concurrence (French Competition Council) issued a decision in which it accepted to withdraw the litigation proceedings after three of the main companies active in the Hi-fi and home cinema equipment sector (Bose, Focal JM Lab and Triangle) agreed to (...)

The Polish Court of Appeals quashes the NCA’s decision and considers that an agreement limiting distribution of a drug to selected distributors does not restrict competition (Johnson & Johnson’s)
Allen & Overy (Warsaw)
Polish Court of Appeals, 25 July 2006, Decision issued in the case initiated by Jacek Nowakowski, who runs a warehouse for Pharmaceutical and Sanitary Products Hurtofarm in Sosnowiec and Johnson & Johnson Polska Sp. z o. o. in Warsaw against the President of the Office for Competition and (...)

The French Competition Council accepts commitments to modify selective distribution agreements as regards access to the network and advertising on the Internet (Festina)
AptarGroup
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SNCF Mobilités
The Bijourama Company is specialized in the sale of time pieces, jewellery and silversmith’s pieces exclusively on the internet. Bijourama submitted a referral to the French Competition Council on October 13th, 2005. The company complained about the refusal of Festina France (a subsidiary of the (...)

The French Competition Council fines an exclusivity purchase clause contained in a selective distribution agreement on the basis of both Art. 81.1 EC and French provisions (NGK Spark Plugs)
White & Case (Paris)
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French Competition Authority (Paris)
In its decision issued on 21 July 2006, the French Competition Council fined NGK Spark Plugs France (hereinafter “NGK France”), a French subsidiary of NGK Japan, active in the French market for spark plugs for two-wheel vehicles, for breach of both article 81 of the EC treaty and its French (...)

The French Competition Council holds anticompetitive an exclusive purchase clause in a selective distribution agreement (NGK Spark Plugs)
Simmons & Simmons (Paris)
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Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
French Competition Council (Conseil de la concurrence), 21 July 2006, Decision n° 06-D-22, related to NGK Spark Plugs France practices in the plug market for two-wheel vehicles (“relative à des pratiques mises en oeuvre par la société NGK Spark Plugs France sur le marché des bougies pour deux (...)

The French Supreme Court finds two non-authorised distributors guilty of unfair competition for having purchased perfumes from authorised distributors in the knowledge that they were infringing the selective distribution agreement (Tifany)
Simmons & Simmons (Paris)
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Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
Marketing Diffusion Prospective (hereinafter “MDP”), based in Mégève, is an authorised distributor of most of the major French perfume manufacturers. Alleging a breach of the selective distribution network to which it belonged, MDP lodged a complaint against its main competitor in this city, (...)

The French NCA fines nearly 80 companies and trade associations for horizontal and vertical agreements in the sector of heating, sanitation, plumbing and air-conditioning products and clarifies the standard of proof applicable to anticompetitive meetings (Agreement in the sector of heating, sanitary, plumbing and air-conditioning products)
Dechert (Paris)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
In a decision of 9 March 2006, the French Competition Council (the "Council") fined nearly 80 companies and trade associations for unlawful practices implemented between 1993 and 1998 in the sector of heating, sanitation, plumbing and air-conditioning products. These practices included (i) (...)

A Dutch Court decides that the decision of the competition authority should have been annulled since the latter did not examine whether a restrictive distribution agreement had an appreciable effect on competition (Secon & G-Star)
European Commission - DG HR
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Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice
G-Star is a subsidiary of Secon. It supplied clothes to clothing shops. The distribution agreement between the supplier and the retailers provided that the contract goods could not be sold to consumers from other premises than those to which the goods were supplied. Retailers were therefore (...)

The French Competition Authority validates practices in the taximeter sector on the basis of both EC and French competition laws
AdVolis (Paris)
Conseil de la concurrence,Decision n° 05-D-48, 28 July 2005, concerning practices applied by ATA in the taximeter sector On 21 November 1996, the Competition Council had been asked by several French and foreign companies (the latter being represented by their respective exclusive distributor in (...)

A French Court condemns an undertaking to repair the damage suffered by an authorised dealer of a selective distribution network (LCJ Diffusion / La Roche Posay)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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Notre Europe
This is a judgment of the Court of Appeal of Paris applying Article 81 EC which has been transmitted to the European Commission by virtue of Article 15(2) of Regulation n° 1/2003 and has been published on DG Competition’s website (See also on this case, C. Mai-Doremus and J. Philippe, The Paris (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal holds that a selective distribution system is compatible with EC Reg. n° 2790/1999 (LCJ Diffusion/La Roche Posay & Cosmétique Active France)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
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Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
La Roche Posay is specialised in the manufacturing and marketing of dermo-cosmetics products and has established a selective distribution system throughout the European Economic Area (EEA). La Roche Posay and its distributor in France, Cosmétique Active France, brought an action against LCJ (...)

A Dutch Court hearing an application for interim relief declares a selective distribution agreement contrary to Art. 81.1 EC and void (Polar/Walstock)
European Commission - DG HR
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Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice
Polar is a producer of a range of heart rate monitors and had, for many years,in accordance with an oral distribution agreement, been supplying Walstock, a retailer of sport products. Polar decided, however, to change its distribution policy by distinguishing several range of heart rate (...)

A Dutch Court refuses to accord to a selective distribution system the benefit of the EC vertical restraint block exemption Regulation (Batavus)
European Commission - DG HR
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Government of Albania
Gerechtshof Leeuwarden, 2 march 2005, Batavus BV Batavus B.V., a bicycle producer, had, for thirty years, a commercial relationship with a retailer, the respondent in the present case, which sold Batavus’ brand bikes. In 2001, Batavus ceased to supply this retailer, which then turned to (...)

The Administrative Court of Appeal of Athens quashes a decision of the NCA ruling that a refusal to integrate into a cosmetics selective distribution network undertakings not providing for dispensing chemists constituted a disproportionate requirement on the basis of both EC and Greek competition laws (Lavicosmetica)
Hellenic Institute of International and Foreign Law (HIIFL)
The case relates to a recourse brought by Lavicosmetica Cosmetique Active Hellas A.E. (hereafter Lavicosmetica) against the decision of the Hellenic Competition Commission considering that its refusal to integrate into its selective distribution network of cosmetics the department stores Hondos (...)

A Belgian Court of Appeal rules that the obligation to obtain the supplier’s approval of advertisement campaigns in a selective distribution relationship does not constitute an indirect resale price maintenance clause (Chanel a.o./ Makro)
Johnson & Johnson (Brussels)
Description of the impugned case In Belgium, as in other countries, the Chanel cosmetic products and perfumes are distributed through a selective distribution network. The selective distribution agreements used in this regard, were notified to the European Commission and the Belgian (...)

The UK Director General of Fair Trading finds that a Spanish porcelain manufacturer has entered into selective distribution agreements with national retailers with the aim of preventing those retailers from selling its figurines at discount prices (Lladró Comercial)
Addleshaw Goddard (London)
Description of the impugned case The DGFT began an investigation under the Competition Act 1998, following complaints from three independent UK-based retailers, to determine whether selective distribution agreements concluded between Lladró Comercial, a manufacturer and supplier of porcelain (...)

The French Competition Council holds systematic discount prohibition in a selective distribution network as prohibited indirect resale price maintenance (Bausch & Lomb / Casino)
Terre Azur (Pomona Group)
Description of the impugned case Regarding to the facts, French competition Council showed that all pricing policy of distributors contrary to the price floor determined by the supplier, even on a short period, should be assimilated to a systematic discount prohibited by the supplier. Indeed, (...)

The French Competition Authority fines optical company for imposing sales prices on its network in the sunglasses market (Bausch & Lomb)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Ray-Ban sun products : Bausch & Lomb penalised for imposing sales prices on its network* In a decision dated 19th July 2001, following a referral by the company Casino France, the Conseil de la (...)

The Irish Supreme Court considers a pharmaceuticals distribution agreement to be in conformity with both domestic and EC competition law and rejects a claim in civil proceedings (Chanelle Veterinary/Pfizer)
London School of Economics
Irish High Court, 30 July 1997, Chanelle Veterinary Limited v. Pfizer (Ireland) Limited and Pfizer Animal Health Irish Supreme Court, 11 February 1999, Chanelle Veterinary Limited v. Pfizer (Ireland) Limited and Pfizer Animal Health [1999] 1 IR 365 Facts of the case The plaintiff, Chanelle (...)

The French Supreme Court upholds the judgment of the Paris Court of Appeal condemning the legal representative of two companies to a € 1,500 fine for having imposed a minimum resale price to its distributors (Nicolas Maincent)
UGGC Avocats (Paris)
Description of the impugned case This case involves an indirect RPM system applied in the context of selective distribution agreements. The companies Estée Lauder and Clinique imposed to their selected distributors, a minimum resale price of the products, through a complex system combining (...)

The European Commission approves a set of standard agreements notified by a Japanese electronics products manufacturer intended to create selective distribution system throughout Europe (Sony Pan-European Distribution Agreement)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Selective distribution"* On 19 February 1993 Sony notified the “Sony Pan European Dealer Agreement” (PEDA) consisting of a set of standard agreements intended to create a selective distribution system throughout Europe for its consumer electronics products. The products covered by the PEDA are (...)

Dominance

The German Federal Court of Justice dismisses action of repair shop to be admitted to the authorised repair network of a commercial vehicle manufacturer based on alleged abuse of dominance (MAN)
Van Bael & Bellis
In a recent judgment delivered on 30 March 2011, the German Federal Court of Justice dismissed the action brought by a vehicle repairer to be admitted to the authorised repair network of MAN, a commercial vehicle manufacturer, based on the claim that MAN was abusing its dominant position as (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority imposes interim measures on leading producer of rough diamonds (De Beers)
European Commission (Brussels)
* Article published in ECN Brief 01/2011. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Please note that the ECN is not the actual "author" of this case summary, but the mere source. As mentioned by the ECN : "The information provided by the ECN Brief is for (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission fines coffee maker nearly € 30 M for infringements of Art. 81 and 82 EC and their domestic equivalents (Nestlé)
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Following a complaint made by the competing Greek coffee manufacturer DRITSAS, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) launched an investigation into the coffee products market, investigating alleged breaches of Article 81 and 82 EC (and Articles 1 and 2 of Law 703/77) by NESTLE HELLAS A.E. (...)

Procedures

The French Competition Authority publishes results of sector inquiry into e-commerce
European Commission (Brussels)
France: The Autorité de la concurrence publishes Results of Sector Inquiry into e-commerce* On 18 September 2012, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) published the findings of its inquiry into e-commerce which 30 million French people have used in 2011. Focus was put on electrical (...)

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