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 end users by the approved members of a selective distribution network does constitute a “hardcore restriction” on competition by object within the meaning of Article 81 paragraph 1 of the EC Treaty, not covered by the block exemption provided for in Regulation n°2790/1999, but which can eventually benefit from an individual exemption pursuant to Article 81 paragraph 3 of the EC Treaty”. Background of the caseThe Competition Council's 2007 Decision on online sales restrictions of cosmetic products
The Paris Court of Appeal refers to the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling on whether or not a general and absolute ban on internet sales by approved distributors constitutes a ’hardcore restriction’ on competition (Pierre Fabre)
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