Selective distribution

Anticompetitive practices

The Paris Court of Appeal fines an online platform for selling products without being part of the selective distribution network of the producer (Coty / Showroomprive.com)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 February 2018, the Paris Court of Appeal (the “Court”) released its judgment in an appeal related to a dispute between Coty France (“Coty”), a producer of branded luxury cosmetics including, in particular, perfumes, and Showroomprive.com, an online platform specialised in the sales of branded (...)

The EU Court of Justice hands down an anticipated judgment on the possibility for a producer of luxury goods to restrict the selling of goods on third party online platforms outside of its selective distribution network (Coty)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 December 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the ECJ or the Court) handed down its eagerly anticipated judgment in Coty (C-230/16). In general, the ECJ closely follows the opinion of Advocate General Wahl (AG Wahl), published on 26 July 2016, in essentially holding that: the (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that suppliers of luxury goods may under certain conditions restrict authorised retailers in a selective distribution system not to sell their goods via third-party online platforms to preserve their products’ ‘luxury image’ (Coty Germany)
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
,
European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)
I. Introduction On 6 December 2017, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down its long-awaited judgment on the permissibility of restrictions by suppliers of luxury goods to sell their products via third-party online platforms under Article 101 (1) TFEU. The question has been subject to (...)

The French Supreme Court refers a case on online platform sales ban back to the Paris Court of Appeal without waiting for an upcoming ruling of the EU Court of Justice on a similar case (Caudalie / eNova)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 September 2017, the French Supreme Court ordered the Paris Court of Appeal to rehear a case for failing to sufficiently substantiate its finding that an obligation in Caudalie’s selective distribution system constituted a probable restriction of competition by object. In the selective (...)

The EU Commission publishes final e-commerce sector inquiry report
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 May 2017, the European Commission (“Commission”) published its final Report on the e-commerce sector inquiry (“the Report”), aimed at identifying business practices in the sector that might restrict competition and limit con- sumer choice. The Report consists of two documents: (i) a 16-page (...)

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirms that the general prohibition of the use of price comparison engines by retailers violates competition law (Asics)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirms Bundeskartellamt’s decision on prohibition of use of price comparison engines* Yesterday the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirmed the Bundeskartellamt’s decision of principle against the running shoes manufacturer Asics. According to the decision the (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court confirms a fine of over 8 million euros for several hard-core vertical restrictions (Hyundai)
Dimitrov, Petrov & Co (Sofia)
Bulgaria: First-instance court confirms a fine of over € 8 mln on the distributor of Hyundai in Bulgaria for several hard-core vertical restrictions* At the very end of 2016, the Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court in its first-instance 3-member panel, confirmed one of the highest fines ever (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court inflicts a record fine for prohibited vertical agreements within a selective distribution system of cars (Hyundai)
Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski (Sofia)
After almost a 4-year appeal procedure, in December 2016 the Supreme Administrative Court of the Republic of Bulgaria (the “Supreme Court”), acting as a court of first instance, confirmed one of the biggest fines ever imposed by the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “CPC”) (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority declares exempt retail price maintenance practices by a cosmetics laboratory on the basis of the de minimis theory (Laboratorio Martí Tor)
CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo (Madrid)
The Spanish Competition Authority (“SCA”) has considered in a decision dated 15 December 2016 that certain retail price maintenance (“RPM”) practices carried out by cosmetic laboratory Martí Tor was not capable of significantly affecting competition, and thereby, of infringing Article 1 of the (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority decides that recommending the use of a certain engine oil brand in authorised service centres does not amount to a vertical restraint (Castrol / Dogus Oto)
University of Sussex
This case note analyses the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) in which it has decided that recommending the use of only Castrol branded engine oils in service centres authorised by Volkswagen and Dogus Oto, coupled with the practice of voiding the manufacturer’s warranty for (...)

The EU Commission publishes initial findings of e-commerce sector inquiry report
Bydgoszcz University of Technology and Life Sciences (UOKIK)
On 15 September 2016, the European Commission published a preliminary report on its initial findings in the e-commerce sector inquiry, aimed at identifying business practices in the sector that might restrict competition and limit consumer choice. This development follows the Commission’s report (...)

The EU Commission publishes the initial findings of its e-commerce sector inquiry
Latham & Watkins (Brussels)
,
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
European Commission’s e-commerce sector inquiry - increasing anti-trust heat* Online sales are not only attracting the attention of consumers and tech businesses, but also increased review by antitrust regulators. On 15 September 2016, the European Commission published a detailed 290 page (...)

The Slovenian Competition Protection Agency accepts commitments from a distributor and 20 authorised service shops of motor vehicles over misleading information for consumers regarding the warranty of the vehicles (Hyundai)
Fatur Law Firm (Ljubljana)
Introduction On 5 May 2016 the Slovenian Competition Protection Agency (hereinafter referred to as the CPA) adopted a decision that renders legally binding the commitments offered by Hyundai Avto trade d.o.o. (hereinafter referred to as HAT), an authorised distributor of Hyundai motor vehicles (...)

The Frankfurt Court of Appeals refers how to treat bans on sales via third-party internet platforms to the European Court of Justice (Coty)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
The question of how to treat bans on sales via third-party internet platforms in selective distribution systems and the impact of the Court of Justice’s Pierre Fabre ruling (see judgment of October 13, 2011, case C-439/09) have been on the agenda in Germany for some time. Recently, the Frankfurt (...)

The Frankfurt Higher Regional Court holds that manufacturers of branded goods are entitled to prohibit authorised retailers in selective distribution agreements from distributing their goods via third-party online platforms (Markenrucksäcke / Branded Backpacks)
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
,
European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)
I. The Facts The parties argue in a civil law proceeding whether a manufacturer could make the supply of goods to an authorised distributor in a selective distribution system subject to a contractual obligation not to resell goods via online sales platforms such as Amazon and advertise them via (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt rules on restrictions on the use of online platforms and price comparison websites in a selective distribution system (Deuter)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 December 2015, the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt (the “Court”) issued a ruling on appeal concerning the selective distribution system of Deuter, a producer of quality backpacks. The Court assessed two restrictions imposed by Deuter on the resellers belonging to its selective (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court of Justice increases the fine against a food retailer after upholding an earlier finding of illegal pricing agreements relating to dairy products (Spar)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 October 2015, the Austrian Supreme Court of Justice (the “Supreme Court”) increased the fine against Spar, a food retailer, from € 3 million to € 30 million after upholding an earlier finding of illegal pricing agreements relating to dairy products. On 26 November 2014, the Higher Regional (...)

The German Competition Authority condemns a manufacturer of running shoes for restricting the online sales activities of small and medium-sized authorised dealers (Asics)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Unlawful restriction of online sales of ASICS running shoes* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded its proceeding on anti-competitive clauses in the distribution system of ASICS Deutschland. The authority accuses ASICS of having restricted the online sales activities of small and medium-sized (...)

The Cyprus Competition Authority heavily fines an anticompetitive agreement considering the seriousness of the infringement and its duration in the spare parts market (Daimler)
Neocleous (Nicosia)
Factual background The case concerned two companies namely Kapodistrias and Kyros who were active in the import, purchase, supply and resale of original spare parts for Mercedes-Benz vehicles, which were supplied by dealers and suppliers from abroad. Kyros and Kapodistrias claimed that, after (...)

The Commission for the Protection of Competition in Cyprus fines a car manufacturer and its local distributor for a vertical agreement regarding spare parts (CIC-Daimler)
Harris Kyriakides LLC
The Commission for the Protection of Competition in Cyprus (Commission) has issued its decision on the CIC-Daimler AG case, imposing a record aggregate fine of €20.7 million on Cyprus Import Corporation Ltd and Daimler AG, on grounds related to infringements of Article 3(1)(b) of the Protection (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority publishes a working draft of its standpoint on vertical restraints outlining its views on vertical competition issues
Diwok Hermann Petsche (Baker McKenzie Vienna)
Introduction The Competition Authority of Slovakia ("SCA") published on 4 February 2015 a working draft of the Standpoint on Vertical Agreements ("Standpoint") and invited the relevant public to discuss the main ideas outlined in the Standpoint. The Standpoint has been published in the (...)

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 (...)

A Frankfurt Court condemns a general ban on sales over third party Internet platforms and the use of price comparison sites (Deuter)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a recently published judgment of the lower regional court of Frankfurt (the “Court”) of 18 June 2014, a general ban on sales by distributors over third party Internet platforms and a prohibition on the use of price-comparison sites constitutes a hardcore restriction of competition (...)

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)
Ashurst (Milan)
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)
Magenta (Paris)
,
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)
Ashurst (Milan)
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 Dutch Court of ‘Midden-Nederland’ rejects claims that a car manufacturer infringed competition law by entering into agreements or concerted practices with members of its network in order to refuse access to its network and by abusing its dominant position on various markets by refusing to accept the claimants as approved repairers (KIA Motors Nederland)
VVGB
,
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
NL30 KIA Motors Nederland LJN: BZ1050 06.02.13 Lower Court, access to selective distribution system The Dutch Court of ‘Midden-Nederland’ rejects claims that KIA Motors Nederland B.V. infringed competition law by entering into agreements or concerted practices with members of its network in (...)

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 (Paris)
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 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 (Paris)
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 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 Swedish Market Court reviews and bans a system of warranty where only authorized undertakings could make service and repairs for the warranty to be valid (Sveriges Bildelsgrossisters förening/KIA Motors Sweden)
Baker McKenzie (Stockholm)
Sveriges Bildelsgrossisters Förening ("SBF") is a non-profit trade association for Swedish suppliers of spare parts to cars, which association has the objective to protect the member companies’ joint interests. Kia Motor Corporation is a South Korean car manufacturer that established operations (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fine totalling € 8.2 M for vertical resale price maintenance in tools selective distribution system (Tooltechnic)
European Commission
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 (Paris)
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)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
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 Swiss Competition Commission fines leading camera manufacturer a total of 12.5 million CHF because of the restrictions on parallel imports of the company’s imaging products (Nikon)
Agon Partners (Zurich)
,
University of Zurich
I. Summary The Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) fines Nikon AG a total of 12.5 million CHF because of restrictions on parallel imports of Nikon imaging products. II. Case 1. Parties Nikon AG, Switzerland («Defendant«). The Nikon Group organizes its sales in Europe through its own offices (...)

The European Court of Justice rules that absolute bans on Internet sales are prohibited (Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmetique)
Vogel & Vogel (Paris)
In 2006, the French Competition Council (Conseil de la concurrence) initiated proceedings regarding practices in the cosmetics and personal care products distribution sector after finding that the majority of manufacturers required that sales be carried out only in a physical space and always (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority identifies anticompetitive practices in the application of the selective distribution system for motor vehicles and repair services that cannot be exempted under the national equivalent of the EC reg. 1400/2002 (Euro Rent Sport)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 13 October 2011 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) identified a number of anticompetitive agreements in the selective distribution system applied by the exclusive supplier of Mitsubishi automobiles in Croatia – Euro Rent Sport d.o.o. (ERS) - that could not be exempted under the BER in (...)

The French Court of Cassation refers a question to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling on the required criteria for quantitative selective distribution (Auto 24/Jaguar Land Rover France)
Vogel & Vogel (Paris)
The question of the criteria required for quantitative selective distribution continues to create intense debate in the case law in France. There are two opposing schools of opinion on the question both from legal commentators and in the case law: The first school argues that the European (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Mazak recommends that prohibition on internet sales be per se infringement (Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique)
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
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 (Brussels)
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 (...)

The Greek Competition Authority fines an hypermarket chain for restrictive practices in his franchise network (Carrefour Marinopoulos)
European Commission
Greece: Carrefour fined for Restrictive Practices in Greek Franchise Network On 6 July 2010, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) has levied a fine of € 12,500,000 on Carrefour’s Greek business (Carrefour Marinopoulos S.A.) for applying resale-price maintenance among its franchise network (...)

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 (Brussels)
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 (Brussels)
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 Court of Justice rules against imported perfume “tester” resale (Coty Prestige Lancaster Group)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 June 2010, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) added another judgment to its line of case-law concerning the trademark exhaustion rules. In Case C-127/09, Coty Prestige Lancaster Groupv. Simex Trading, the ECJ ruled that a German trader cannot sell imported perfume “testers” (...)

The European Commission adopts new rules on vertical restraints
European Commission
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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», (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority identifies restrictive provisions of the selective distribution agreements for motor vehicles and repair services that cannot be exempted under the relevant block exemption regulation (Hyundai auto Zagreb)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 8 April 2010 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) identified a number of anticompetitive provisions in the selective distribution agreements concluded by exclusive supplier of Hyundai automobiles in Croatia - Hyundai auto Zagreb d.o.o. (HAZ) - that could not be exempted under the BER in (...)

The Croatian Administrative Court upholds the decision of the NCA imposing interim measures following an assessment of the unilateral termination of the motor vehicle distribution agreement (Tomić)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 27 January 2010 the Croatian Administrative Court upheld the decision of the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) imposing interim measures in the case of unilateral termination of the agreement on selective distribution of BMW automobiles. The applicant, Tomić & Co. d.o.o. (Tomic) was (...)

The Amsterdam Court of First Instance rules on refusal to appoint motor vehicle dealers to a motor vehicle selective distribution network (Kia)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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 (...)

A German Court confirms judgment allowing a restriction on using auction websites in selective distribution
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In its judgment of 25 November 2009, the Higher Regional Court of Karlsruhe (the “Court”) upheld a judgment of the Regional Court of Mannheim which allowed the manufacturer of high quality school bags which operated a qualitative selective distribution system to prohibit its distributors from (...)

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 (...)

The Paris 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 (...)

A Dutch court rules on failure to appoint dealers to a motor vehicle selective distribution network (KIA)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 September 2009, the President of the Court of First Instance of Utrecht (the “President”) refused a claim brought by former KIA dealers and repairers whose dealership agreements had been terminated. It appears from the judgment that on 6 April 2009, KIA Nederland BV (“KIA Nederland”), the (...)

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 (Brussels)
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 accepts prohibition of selling through auction websites (Amer)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a recently published judgment of 2 July 2009, the Higher Regional Court of Munich (the “Court”) found that a manufacturer of sports products (Amer) was allowed to prohibit its distributors to resell its products through auction websites, such as eBay. Amer had been sued by the German (...)

A French Court renders a new decision relative to the selection of distributors of new vehicles in a qualitative and quantitative selective distribution system (Sodac / BMW France)
Vogel & Vogel (Paris)
Legal disputes often arise relative to the selection of distributors of new vehicles in distribution systems that are both qualitative and quantitative in the various Member States of the EU. An analysis of the decisions rendered reflects the significant difficulties, after entry into force of (...)

A German court rules on restrictions on sales through auction websites in the context of selective distribution (Sternjakob)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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 Croatian Competition Authority imposes interim measures following an assessment of the unilateral termination of the motor vehicle distribution agreement (Simatic / Tomic)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
Summary The Croatian Competition Authority ordered the exclusive importer of the BMW automobiles into Croatia Tomic & Co. d.o.o. to include its former distributor and repair service provider Simatic d.o.o. in the network of authorized spare parts retailers and repair service providers. (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority finds illegal vertical resale price fixing without imposing fine (Castrol Hungária)
Oppenheim (Budapest)
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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 Turkish Competition Board requests a car manufacturer to amend the non-qualitative criterion of its authorized service agreement and the use of equipment so as to prevent discrimination between existing and new authorized providers (Renault Trucks Turkiye Ticaret)
Derman Düren Akol
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European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
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Çiğdemtekin Dora Aranci Law Firm
The Turkish Competition Board evaluates the authorized service agreement and the practices of the manufacturer Renault Trucks Turkiye Ticaret A.S. under (i) Article 3, 5, 6 of the Block Exemption Communiqué n° 2005/4 on Vertical Agreements and Concerted Practices in the Motor Vehicle Sector with (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal suspends decision concerning prohibition of Internet sales in selective distribution (Pierre Fabre)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 February 2009, the President of the Paris Court of Appeal partially suspended the decision of the French Competition Council against a manufacturer of cosmetics, Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique (“Pierre Fabre”). In its decision of 29 October 2008, the Competition Council found that Pierre (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority annulls the price-fixing agreements concluded between a mobile phone operator and its distributors (VIPnet)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
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 (Budapest)
,
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 Croatian Competition Authority rules on the compatibility of the promotion campaigns of an automobile importer with the block exemption regulation (Sanabilis/Citroën)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
Citroën Hrvatska d.o.o. (Citroën) is the exclusive importer of Citroën automobiles in Croatia, which established a selective distribution network of 19 distributors and 22 retailers of original spare parts and repair service centers. One of the Citroën’s distributors Sanabilis d.o.o. (Sanabilis) (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority imposes interim measures following an assessment of the motor vehicle exclusive distribution agreement (Adria Lada / SPID)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
Summary The Croatian Competition Authority (Agencija za zaštitu tržišnog natjecanja) (AZTN) following a complaint launched by SPID d.o.o. obliged the official distributor of “Lada” automobiles in Croatia ADRIA LADA d.o.o. to publicly announce the criteria it applies for certification of the service (...)

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)
,
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 (Paris)
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 European Commission adopts evaluation report concerning the motor vehicle block exemption regulation
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 May 2008, the European Commission issued its Report on the operation of Regulation 1400/2002 concerning motor vehicle distribution and servicing (the “Report”). Given that Regulation 1400/2002 (the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation, referred to below as the “MVBER”) is set to expire (...)

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)
,
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 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)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
,
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 (...)

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)
,
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 Commercial Court of Bordeaux rules on quantitative selection distribution for motor vehicles (Land Rover)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 February 2008, the Commercial Court of Bordeaux ruled on quantitative selective distribution for motor vehicles. Land Rover refused to appoint as its authorised distributor an undertaking established in a French town on the grounds that Land Rover‘s distributors’ map provided for a limited (...)

A French court rules that parallel resales do constitute an act of unfair competition (Puma / France Telecom, Brandalley, Vanam)
EDHEC (Lille)
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 Paris Court of Appeal receives the first application ever from the EU Commission acting as amicus curiae on the basis of Reg. N°1/2003 in a case concerning the application of the automotive block exemption (Garage Gremeau / Daimler Chrysler)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
Facts and proceedings Garage Gremeau had been entrusted by Daimler Chrysler France with the distribution of Mercedes Benz motor vehicles in the Dijon area (Burgundy) since 1982. On the basis of the new Commission Regulation (EC) n° 1400/2002, of 31 July 2002, on the application of Article (...)

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)
,
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 (Paris)
,
SNCF Mobilités (Paris)
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 holds anticompetitive an exclusive purchase clause in a selective distribution agreement (NGK Spark Plugs)
Simmons & Simmons (Paris)
,
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 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)
,
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 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)
,
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)
,
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 (Brussels)
,
Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice (The Hague)
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 European Commission fines a motor vehicle manufacturer for infringement to Article 81EC in a parallel import case (Peugeot)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Parallel import of motor vehicles: the Peugeot case"* The Peugeot decision, adopted by the Commission on 5 October 2005, imposed a fine of 49.4 million euros for breach of Article 81 EC on the motor vehicle manufacturer Automobiles Peugeot SA (‘Peugeot‘), and its subsidiary Peugeot Nederland (...)

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 (...)

The Spanish Competition Court holds that car manufacturers with a market share below 30% may freely choose the members of their distribution or repair and maintenance network (Citröen)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
Background The Agrupación de Agentes y Servicios Oficiales Citröen de Cataluña (hereinafter, “the ASOCC”), an association of the repair shops integrated in the repair and maintenance services’ network of Citröen in the region of Cataluña, lodged on 1 October 2003 a complaint before the Spanish (...)

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)
,
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)
,
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 (Brussels)
,
Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice (The Hague)
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 (Brussels)
,
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 German Federal Court of Justice holds that a car service agreement contains a minimum purchase requirement that violates Art. 81.1 and is void under Art. 81.2 EC (Renault)
Background Until June 2001, the defendant was an authorized Renault dealer in Germany, belonging to the so-called A-category of dealers. In 1996, the defendant entered into a so-called Service Agreement with the claimant on the supply of new Renault vehicles and original spare parts. The (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice clarifies that the old EC Regulation 1475/95 only exempts endeavours to “sell” motor vehicles but prohibits endeavours to “purchase” if they have the effect of anticompetitive obligations to purchase (Bezugsbindung)
Hengeler Mueller (Dusseldorf)
I. Facts of the case Renault Germany AG as the sole national sales company for Renault brand in Germany sells its motor vehicles through a selective distribution system in which authorized "A-dealers" enter into a dealership agreement with Renault Germany. On a second distribution level (...)

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 European Commission fines Japanese manufacturer of electronic musical instrumental for restrictions of trade and resale price maintenance in Europe (Yamaha)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission fines Yamaha for restrictions of trade and resale price maintenance in Europe"* On 16 July 2003, the Commission adopted a decision finding that Yamaha Corporation Japan, Yamaha Europa GmbH, Yamaha Musica Italia s.p.a., Yamaha Musique France S.A. and Yamaha Scandinavia AB have (...)

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 European Commission applies for the first time the new motor vehicle block exemption regulation in a case concerning authorized repairers (AUDI)
European Commission (DG NEAR)
"The first case of application of the new motor vehicle block exemption regulation: AUDI’s authorised repairers"* Introduction The new motor vehicle block exemption regulation (BER) entered into force on 1 October 2002. A one-year transitional period until 30 September 2003 is foreseen in the (...)

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)
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 Belgian Competition Authority orders interim measures against a car manufacturer on the distribution, repairs and maintenance car market (BMW Belux / Feltz)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
Press Release published on the official website of the Belgian Competition Authority . Decision of the Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority granting interim measures in a case concerning the distribution, repairs and maintenance of BMW and MINI cars* On 11 July the (...)

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 (Brussels)
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 German Federal Court of Justice decides on the obligation of car manufacturers to contract with authorised repairers of competitors (MAN-Vertragswerkstatt)
Gleiss Lutz (Munich)
,
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Munich)
On 30 March 2010, the German Federal Court of Justice overruled a judgment of the Higher Regional Court of Munich and restored the judgment of the Regional Court of Munich in first instance. The question at stake was whether MAN had an obligation to contract with authorised repairers of Daimler (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority imposes interim measures on leading producer of rough diamonds (De Beers)
European Commission
Belgium: The Competition Authority imposes Interim Measures on De Beers* In a decision of 25 November 2010, the President of the Competition Council ordered De Beers to supply rough diamonds to Antwerp trader Spira. The decision follows a request for interim measures filed by Spira, awaiting (...)

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. (...)

The Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina applies EC competition law standards prosecuting exclusive importer of automobiles for abuse of dominant position (ASA Auto / MRM export-import, "Volkswagen" case)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
Summary Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina fined an exclusive importer of the Volkswagen automobiles into B&H for abusing its dominant position on the relevant market. The abuse was manifested by the refusal to deal and application of the dissimilar conditions to the (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice holds that the EC motor vehicles block exemption does not create any obligation to admit a plaintiff as an authorized repairer (Qualitative Selektion)
Fresenius Medical Care (Frankfurt)
Background The defendant, a manufacturer of motor vehicles, terminated its service agreement with the plaintiff, an authorized provider of repair and maintenance services, by contractual notice effective June 30, 2002. The defendant intended to change its criteria for selecting authorized (...)

Mergers

The Turkish Competition Board unconditionally authorizes the acquisition of Italian jeweler and luxury goods retailer by French luxury conglomerate (LVMH/Bulgari)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
The Competition Board (the “Board”) has unconditionally authorized the acquisition of control of Bulgari S.p.A. (“Bulgari”) by LVMH Moét Hennessy - Louis Vuitton (“LVMH”; “Bulgari” and “LVMH” hereinafter referred to as the “Parties”) since the transaction would not result in creating a dominant position or (...)

Procedures

A French Court rules that a commercial Court has no jurisdiction to withdraw the benefit of the exemption provided by a block exemption regulation (Turbo Europe/Peugeot-Renault-Citroën)
Vogel & Vogel (Paris)
The company Turbo Europe, better known under the name Automobil- Eclerc, has been in dispute with the French automobile manufacturers for a number of years. After attempting to place orders for new vehicles from Peugeot, Citroën and Renault and being turned down on the grounds of not belonging (...)

The Paris Court of Appeals receives observations - submitted for the first time to a national court since adoption of Reg. n° 1/2003 - from the European Commission (Garage Gremeau / Daimler Chrysler)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
,
Orange (Paris)
Background According to Article 15(3) of Council Regulation (EC) n° 1/2003, of 16 December 2002, on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty (OJEC L 1, 4 January 2003, pp. 1-25), the European Commission (the “Commission”) may submit (...)

A French Court concludes that the new motor vehicle block exemption regulation EC N° 1400/2002 amounts to a substantial change in the legal environment of car manufacturers justifying a complete reorganisation of distribution networks (Daimler-Chrysler/SO.PA.VI.A)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
SO.PA.VI.A had been entrusted by Daimler Chrysler France with the exclusive distribution of new motor vehicles of the Mercedes Benz trademark in the Pau/Tarbes area (i. e. south-west of France), pursuant to an agreement of 25 September 1996 complying with the previous block exemption regulation (...)

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