Selective Distribution

General antitrust

The EU Commission publishes its 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 consumer choice. The Report consists of two documents: (i) a 16-page (...)

The EU Commission publishes its final report following its e-commerce sector inquiry as part of a larger digital market strategy that aims to achieve better access for consumers and businesses to online goods and services
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
On 10 May 2017 the EU Commission published its final report in the e-commerce sector inquiry launched in May 2015 as part of a wider Digital Market Strategy which aims to achieve better access for consumers and businesses to online goods and services across the EU. The aim of the sector inquiry (...)

The EU Commission releases its final report on its two-year inquiry into the e-commerce sector
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
On 10 May 2017, the European Commission (Commission) released the final report on its two-year inquiry into the e-commerce sector (the Report). This Report presents the Commission’s definitive findings, taking account of comments received on its preliminary report of September 2016 and its (...)

The EU Commission publishes a preliminary report on its e-commerce sector inquiry
Hausfeld (New York)
On September 15, 2016, the European Commission (“Commission”) published a Preliminary Report on its E-Commerce Sector Inquiry (“Preliminary Report”), presenting the outcome of over 1.800 responses received from manufacturers, retailers, e-commerce marketplaces, price comparison tools, payment (...)

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
White & Case (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 Authority accepts commitments from a motor vehicles distributor and 20 authorised service shops 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 (...)

Anticompetitive practices

The EU Commission conducts an extensive review in which it analyses the practice of applying the current vertical block exemption regulation and determines the scope and character of guidance to be provided
Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
,
Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
Online platforms and e-commerce have significantly changed the business environment since the current Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“VBER”) was adopted. They have had a huge impact on the way business is conducted and on the behaviours of consumers who can switch within different online (...)

The EU Commission publishes a working document summarizing the findings of the evaluation phase of the review for the vertical block exemption regulation and its guidelines
Ashurst (Paris)
,
Ashurst (London)
On 8 September 2020, the European Commission ("Commission") published a working document (the "Evaluation Report") summarising the findings of the evaluation phase of the review of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation ("VBER") and the Guidelines on Vertical Restraints ("Vertical (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority grants no exemption to the envisaged selective distribution system of a pharmaceutical company (Johnson&Johnson)
ACTECON (Istanbul)
,
ACTECON (Istanbul)
The Turkish Competition Board (“TCB“) has recently issued a no-go decision for the envisaged selective distribution system of Johnson&Johnson Sıh. Mal. San. ve Tic. Ltd. Şti. (“Johnson”). The decision concerns Johnson’s application before the Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) for an individual (...)

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal upholds the legality for non-luxury brands to ban resale on third-party platforms (Nike / Action Sport / Amazon)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 July 2020, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal (the “Court”) handed down its judgment in the dispute between Nike European Operations Netherlands B.V. (“NEON”) and Action Sport SOC. COOP, A.R.L. (“Action Sport”), an Italian retailer of Nike’s sportswear, footwear and related products. The Court upheld (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal upholds the dismissal of a French car repairers’ complaints against a car manufacturer’s alleged discrimination in determining membership of its authorised repair network (Hyundai)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 4 June 2020, the Competition Chamber of the Paris Court of Appeal (the “Court”) handed down a judgment dismissing the appeal filed by three car repairers (the “Claimants”) against a decision of the French Competition Authority (the “FCA”) to reject their complaint against Hyundai Motor France (...)

The US FTC adds 6 State Attorneys General as co-complainants in suit against anticompetitive scheme to protect list-price increase of more than 4,000 percent for life-saving drug Daraprim (Vyera Pharmaceuticals / Martin Shkreli / Phoenixus / Kevin Mulleady)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
Six More States Join FTC and NY Attorney General’s Case Against Vyera Pharmaceuticals, Martin Shkreli, and Other Defendants* Defendants engaged in anticompetitive scheme to protect list-price increase of more than 4,000 percent for life-saving drug Daraprim The Federal Trade Commission has (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority accepts commitments by a sports brand in connection with contractual provisions applied within its selective distribution network (Adidas / LDC)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
,
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
,
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
The CNMC has reached a commitments decision with Adidas regarding restrictive practices in the Spanish retail market for clothing and footwear contrary to Article 1 SCA. Adidas submitted commitments addressing the CNMC’s concerns regarding certain clauses in the retail sports clothing company’s (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority accepts commitments offered by a sports manufacturer and retailer following a complaint on the imposition of restrictions in the distribution network (Adidas / LDC)
Ashurst (Madrid)
,
Ashurst (Madrid)
,
Ashurst (Madrid)
The CNMC has accepted commitments offered by Adidas Spain ("Adidas") and closed the investigation that had been initiated in November 2018, following a complaint lodged by BCINCOPE (an Adidas franchisee), for an alleged infringement of articles 1 SCA and 101 TFEU in the Spanish retail market (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority ends an infringement proceeding by adopting a commitment decision following a sports brand’s alleged anti-competitive conduct (Adidas / LDC)
CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo (Madrid)
,
CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo (Madrid)
Background On 6 February 2020, the Spanish Competition Authority (Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia, hereinafter the “CNMC”) adopted a commitment decision to end the infringement proceedings (S/DC/0631/18) initiated in November 2018 against Adidas, S.A.U. (“Adidas”) for alleged (...)

The EU Commission imposes a €14.3 million fine on a film and TV production company for restricting sales of licensed film merchandise (NBCUniversal)
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
,
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
On 30 January 2020, the Commission imposed a fine on NBCUniversal for the restriction of sales of film merchandise relating to Minions and Shrek, among others. In June 2017, the Commission opened investigations into the licensing deals entered into by Nike, Sanrio (Hello Kitty), and (...)

The EU Commission fines a film and TV production company for implementing territorial and online sales restrictions through merchandising licence agreements (NBCUniversal)
Liège University (Liège)
,
Liège University (Liège)
On 30 January 2020, the European Commission (‘the Commission’) announced its decision to fine several film companies belonging to Comcast Corporation, including NBCUniversal LLC (‘Universal’), €14,327,000 for the implementation of territorial, consumer and online sales restrictions through their (...)

The EU Commission fines a €14.3 million a film and TV production company for restricting intellectual property licensing (NBCUniversal)
Ashurst (Brussels)
,
Ashurst (London)
On 30 January 2020 the European Commission ("Commission") fined NBCUniversal EUR 14,327,000 for restricting intellectual property licensees from selling licensed merchandise within the EEA to territories and customers beyond those allocated to them. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW - KEY TAKEAWAYS (...)

The EU Commission imposes a €14.3 million fine on a film and TV production company for territorial and online sale restrictions of merchandising products (NBCUniversal)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 January 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) announced its decision to fine several companies belonging to Comcast Corporation, including NBCUniversal, € 14,327,000 for limiting the ability of licensees to sell licensed merchandising products to other EEA countries and non-allocated (...)

The EU Commission reiterates in a case regarding a film and TV production company its position that if a business allows for the non-exclusive licensing of its products in the EEA the licensor can no longer control the sale of the product (NBCUniversal)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
,
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
The European Commission has reiterated its position that if a business allows for the non-exclusive licensing of its products in the EEA, such licensor can no longer control where, to whom, and in what manner (online/off-line) the products can be sold within the EEA. On 30 January 2020, the (...)

The UK Court of Appeal rejects an appeal against a judgment of the CAT which upheld the Competition Authority’s decision finding the online sales ban of a company’s custom-fitted golf clubs to be an unjustified restriction (Ping)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 January 2020, the UK Court of Appeal rejected an appeal brought by the golf club manufacturer Ping Europe Limited (“Ping”) against the 2018 judgment of the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”), which upheld the Competition and Markets Authority’s (“CMA”) 2017 decision finding Ping’s online sales (...)

The UK Court of Appeal upholds the Competition Authority’s decision finding that a golf equipment supplier acted illegally by banning online sales of its products (Ping)
Ashurst (London)
On 21 January 2020, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales handed down a judgment dismissing the appeal by Ping Europe Limited ("Ping") against a judgment of the Competition Appeal Tribunal ("CAT"), upholding the CMA’s 2017 decision that Ping’s online sales ban constituted a restriction of (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms the decision of the Competition Authority sanctioning a leader in garden machinery who imposed clauses restricting online sales to its distribution network (Stihl)
Ashurst (Paris)
The Court of appeal of Paris has confirmed the decision of the French Competition Authority ("FCA") sanctioning Stihl, a manufacturer of mechanical garden equipment, for prohibiting, between 2006 and 2017, the sale of certain dangerous products on its distributors’ websites. The Court of appeal, (...)

The Ukrainian Competition Authority imposes a record-breaking fine totaling € 245.3 million on tobacco companies and their sole distributor for concerted practices (Tedis)
Redcliffe Partners (Kyiv)
,
Redcliffe Partners (Kyiv)
In October 2019, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (the "AMC") imposed a record fine on the Ukrainian subsidiaries of four leading international tobacco producers, namely Philip Morris, JTI, Imperial Tobacco and British American Tobacco (the "Tobacco Companies"), and (...)

The Swiss Competition Authority fines a manufacturer of sports products for vertical price fixing with dealers (Stöckli)
Lenz & Staehelin (Zurich)
Introduction The Swiss Competition Commission (“ComCo”) fined Stöckli Swiss Sports (“Stöckli”), a Swiss manufacturer of Skis and other sport products, for vertical price fixing with its dealers with CHF 140’000. The fine was rather low, as Stöckli had filed a leniency application, albeit after ComCo (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal rules that a car supplier is free to terminate a selective car distribution contract with a distributor despite meeting the selection criteria (Garage Richard Drevet / Hyundai)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 31 July 2019, the Paris Court of Appeal (the “Court”) ruled that Hyundai did not discriminate against retailer Garage Richard Drevet by terminating its car distribution contract. The Court essentially ruled that each car supplier is free to determine whether to grant access to its selective (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a bicycle manufacturer €250.000 for online sale restrictions (Bikeurope / Trek Bicycle)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 1 July 2019, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) imposed a fine of € 250,000 on Trek Bicycle Corporation and its subsidiary Bikeurope B.V. (together “Bikeurope”) for having prohibited its authorised retailers from selling its bicycles online from 2007 to 2014, a restriction by object that (...)

The French Competition Authority dismisses the complaint filed by several garage owners against an automobile constructor (Hyundai)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Automotive aftermarket* The Autorité de la concurrence dismisses the complaint filed by several garage owners against Hyundai The complaint filed by the garage owners Three car garages referred a case to the Autorité de la concurrence regarding practices that would have been implemented by (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms that a supplier heading a purely qualitative selective distribution network can refuse a distributor meeting all the network’s selection criteria if the refusal has no anticompetitive object or effect (Mazda / Palau)
Delcade Avocats & Solicitors (Paris)
In its Mazda ruling of 23 January 2019, the Court of Appeal ("Cour d’Appel") of Paris confirms a developing French case law under which a supplier heading a purely qualitative selective distribution network can refuse to authorize a distributor meeting all the network’s selection criteria, (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of resale price maintenance against a manufacturer and seller of kitchen appliances due to lack of witnesses and manufacturer’s distribution rights (Snapdeal / Jasper Infotech / Kaff Appliances)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI finds no evidence of resale price maintenance on sale of KAFF appliances on Snapdeal* CCI, by way of order dated 15.01.2019 under Section 26(6) the Act, has dismissed allegations of Resale Price Maintenance (“RPM”) against Kaff Appliances (India) Pvt. Ltd. ( “KAFF/ OP”).The information was (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal specifies a manufacturer’s right to deny access to its selective distribution network to an applicant distributor in the electronic product market in compliance with competition law and civil law (Concurrence / Sony)
Osborne Clarke (Paris)
,
Osborne Clarke (Paris)
This case concerned a consumer electronics manufacturer and a distributor between whom the relationship was particularly conflicting. A large number of commercial disputes were brought before the courts by the distributor to obtain the right to distribute the manufacturer’s products. Even though (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a manufacturer for preventing its authorized distributors from selling its products online by implementing the Coty ruling (Stihl)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Online retail of outdoor power equipment* The Autorité de la concurrence fines the manufacturer Stihl 7 million euros for having prevented its authorized distributors from selling its products online Background Following an investigative report from the DGCCRF, the Autorité de la (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes a fine of €7 million on outdoor power tool a manufacturer for de facto online sales restrictions (Stihl)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 October 2018, the French competition authority (the “FCA”) fined Stihl, a German manufacturer of outdoor power tools, € 7 million for, in effect, prohibiting online sales of chainsaws, brush cutters, pole saws and electric pruners. Stihl operated a selective distribution system, under which (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal dismisses the appeal brought by a manufacturer of golf equipment on the liability of anticompetitive practices but permits a small reduction of the fine (Ping)
Rosenblatt Limited (London)
UK LANDMARK COMPETITION CASE CONDEMNS ABSOLUTE INTERNET SALE BAN AS A SERIOUS BREACH OF COMPETITION LAW* Introduction The Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) handed down its judgment on 7 September 2018 in relation to an appeal by Ping Europe Limited (“Ping”) challenging the decision of the UK (...)

The Frankfurt Higher Regional Court finds that a luxury perfume provider can prohibit unauthorized distribution over third-party websites (Coty Germany / Parfümerie Akzente)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
,
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
This judgment of the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt/Main of 12 July 2018 applying the preliminary ruling of the CJEU of 6 December 2017 in the case Coty Germany GmbH v Parfümerie Akzente GmbH will reassure manufacturers of luxury products that they can protect such products from unauthorised (...)

The Hamburg Higher Regional Court finds that a ban on selling products through online platforms can be justified if its objective is to preserve product image and ensure personal consultation with customers in the light of the Coty judgment (Aloe2Go)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
,
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
The Higher Regional Court of Hamburg had the opportunity to establish a position regarding potential restrictions of competition in selective distribution arising out of bans on selling products through eBay and similar platforms. The Higher Regional Court referred to recent case law of the (...)

The Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court finds that sellers of high quality cosmetics cannot invoke exhaustion of rights under the EU Trademark Regulation if they have not presented the products in a way that avoids impairment of the brand’s reputation (Kanebo)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
,
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf decided that neither online nor offline sellers can invoke exhaustion of rights under Article 15(1) of the EU trademark regulation if they sell high-quality, prestigious cosmetic products without appropriate presentation to avoid impairment of reputation. (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority issues a written opinion on bringing a restraint through internet sales that exceed the objective of preventing the sales to be made by the non-authorized resellers (Jotun Boya Sanayi / Ticaret AŞhad)
Turkish Competition Authority (Ankara)
This case note analyses the Turkish Competition Board’s (Board) JOTUN decision dated 15.02.2018 with No.18-05/74-40; regarding the prohibition of Internet Sales in selective distribution system. In the recently published reasoned decision of JOTUN case, it is stated that in the selective (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice confirms that a general prohibition for retailers to use price comparison engines is illegal (Asics)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
ASICS dealers allowed to use price comparison engines - Federal Court of Justice confirms Bundeskartellamt’s decision* In its decision of 12 December, 2017, published on 19 January, 2018, the Federal Court of Justice decided that ASICS may not forbid its dealers from using price comparison (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that suppliers may prohibit the sales of their products via third-party online platforms to preserve the luxury image of their goods (Coty Germany / Parfümerie Akzente)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled on 6 December 2017 that suppliers may prohibit the sales of their products via third-party online platforms such as Amazon or eBay to preserve the luxury image of their goods . Such restrictions do not infringe the EU prohibition on (...)

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 / Parfümerie Akzente)
Hogan Lovells (Munich/Frankfurt)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
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 EU Court of Justice prohibits the members of a purely quantitative selective distribution system to sell contractual products on Internet platforms which may have an impact on Asian jurisdictions (Coty Germany / Parfümerie Akzente)
Delcade Avocats & Solicitors (Paris)
Introduction In its Coty Germany ruling of 6 December 2017, the European Court of Justice (hereafter the “ECJ”) decided that forbidding the members of a purely qualitative selective distribution network of luxury products to sell those products on Internet platforms does not infringe the (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules in favour of restrictions on the use of platforms in a selective distribution system (Coty Germany / Parfümerie Akzente)
Gibson Dunn (Brussels)
,
Willkie Farr & Gallagher (Brussels)
,
Gibson Dunn (Brussels)
This article considers how much the Coty Ruling has shed light on the extent to which a manufacturer can restrict the sales of its products over online platforms, especially in the wake of the recent German Case involving ASICS and basic principles developed at EU level to assess obligations (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that companies may restrict online distribution of luxury goods under certain conditions (Coty Germany / Parfümerie Akzente)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
Coty Germany sells luxury cosmetic goods in Germany through a selective distribution network Under Coty Germany’s selective distribution system, shops of authorised distributors must comply with a number of requirements (setting, decoration and furnishing). Authorised distributors can sell the (...)

The EU Advocate General Wahl holds that suppliers of luxury goods may prohibit their authorized retailers from selling their goods via third-party internet platforms (Coty Germany)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
Advocate General Wahl Delivers Opinion on Legality of Bans on Online Sales via Third-Party Platforms in Selective Distribution Systems* According to Advocate General Nils Wahl’s opinion, delivered on July 26, in the Court of Justice of the European Union’s (CJEU) case Coty Germany GmbH v (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of anticompetitive conduct against two film producers and two digital cinema service providers (K Sera Sera Digital Cinema / Pen India)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI closes case against the producers and presenters of ‘Kahaani-2’ with respect to alleged anticompetitive agreement* CCI vide its order dated June 21, 2017dismissed allegations of contravention of Section 3 and 4 of the Act against Pen India Ltd., Bound Script Motion Pictures Pvt. Ltd., UFO (...)

The Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court confirms that a general prohibition for retailers to use price comparison engines 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 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 (Brighton)
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 UK Competition Authority issues a statement of objections to a golf equipment manufacturer for banning the sale of its golf clubs online (Ping)
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
ONLINE SALES RESTRICTIONS REMAIN A HOT TOPIC: UK CMA ISSUES STATEMENT OF OBJECTIONS* On 9 June 2016, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) issued a statement of objections (SO) to Ping Europe Limited (Ping), a golf equipment manufacturer, alleging that Ping had breached EU and UK (...)

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/Frankfurt)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
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 Frankfurt Higher Regional Court rules on restrictions imposed 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 German Competition Authority condemns a manufacturer of running shoes for restricting the online sale 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 Polish Competition Authority accepts commitments concerning the online sales of prams and strollers (Emmaljunga)
Hansberry Tomkiel (Warsaw)
In its decision no RGD 2/2015 of 30th June 2015 (the “Decision”), the Polish Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (“Competition Authority”) accepted commitments proposed by the Poland-based company “Investment Trading Consulting” (“Company”), Polish exclusive distributor of prams and (...)

The Cyprus Competition Authority fines a car manufacturer and its local distributor for a vertical agreement regarding spare parts (Daimler)
Harris Kyriakides LLC (Cyprus)
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 Cyprus Competition Authority heavily fines an anticompetitive agreement considering the seriousness of the infringement and its duration in the spare parts market (Daimler)
Elias Neocleous (Cyprus)
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 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 against a sports shoe company after it amends its conditions for online sales 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 Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt 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 (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Belgian Competition Authority investigates a cosmetic company for its imposition of a maximum discount level on its network of selective distributors (Caudalie)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority has submitted a motivated proposal for decision in a case concerning the imposition by Caudalie of a maximum discount level on its network of selective distributors* On 20 November 2020, the Investigation and (...)

The Russian Competition Authority confirms that the pharmaceutical company with a dominant position in the wholesale of certain generics ceased its problematic behavior and signed a contract for medicine supply (Ipsen / Biotek)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Ipsen Company Comply With the Warning of the FAS Russia* Pharmaceutical company made required amendments to the Commercial policy and signed a contract with a distributor to supply their products FAS Russia received a notification of the Ipsen LLC that the company ceased the actions that (...)

The Russian Competition Authority investigates whether a pharmaceutical company with a dominant position in the wholesale of certain generics unreasonably refused to conclude a contract for medicine supply (Ipsen / Biotek)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS Russia: Ipsen Unreasonably Refused Biotek to Conclude Contract for Medicine Supply* In order not to enter into a contract with a counterparty the pharmaceutical company has repeatedly changed its commercial policy during the review of the distributor’s application. The FAS Russia issued a (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal orders obligations imposed on a retailer by the Competition Authority to be suspended until it has ruled on the retailer’s appeal against the Authority’s infringement decision (Stihl)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 23 January 2019, the Paris Court of Appeal ordered the suspension of the obligations imposed by the French Competition Authority on STIHL in its decision of 24 October 2018 (the “Decision”). This order requiring the suspension (the “Order”) is to remain in effect until the Court rules on the (...)

The EU Court of Justice prohibits selective distributors from selling luxury products on third-party online platforms (Coty Germany / Parfümerie Akzente)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
,
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
On 6 December 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union handed down its Judgment on the awaited Coty Germany v Akzente case. The case concerned whether a supplier of luxury cosmetics, operating a selective distribution system for its products, may validly prohibit its authorized (...)

The Italian Competition Authority finds an abuse of dominant position in the single-wrapped ice cream market (Unilever / Distribuzione Gelati)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
In the recent Unilever/Distribuzione Gelati case, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has dealt with the issue whether the commercial policies of the leading player in the ice cream impulse sector breached 102 TFEU. The conduct of the dominant firm, Unilever, consisted in a number of (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of abuse of a dominant position against the largest national energy conglomerate (Tata Power Delhi Distribution / NTPC)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI dismisses allegations of abuse of dominance against NTPC -India’s largest energy conglomerate* The CCI vide its order dated 12.10.2017 has dismissed allegation of abuse of dominance and anti-competitive conduct against NTPC Limited, India’s largest public electricity generator (the Opposite (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of abuse of dominance against a pharmaceutical manufacturer due to lack of evidence of dominance (Sanofi)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI closes allegation of abuse of dominance against Sanofi* CCI vide its order dated July 19, 2017 has closed an allegation of abuse of dominant position against Sanofi India Limited (Sanofi). The Informant in the case sought confidentiality of his identity and hence was not named. The (...)

The Chinese NDRC fines a healthcare company for price-fixing for 4% of its sales revenue on cardiovascular and diabetes medical device products in China (Medtronic)
University of Melbourne
,
Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
,
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
On 7 December 2016, the NDRC announced that it had investigated and fined Medtronic for engaging in RPM in breach of the AML. The NDRC found that, since 2014, Medtronic had agreed with its distributors to limit the resale, tender, and minimum prices of its cardiovascular, restorative therapy, (...)

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 finds that a luxury goods supplier may prevent its authorized retailers from using third-party platforms to sell its products to preserve the products’ luxury image (Coty Germany / Parfümerie Akzente)
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
,
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
On 6 December 2017, the Court of Justice of European Union (CJEU) issued its long-awaited Judgment in Coty Germany GmbH v Parfümerie Akzente GmbH. Taking an approach similar to that adopted by Advocate General (AG) Wahl in his Opinion in July, the CJEU found that a supplier of luxury goods may (...)

Procedures

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal hands down its judgement upholding the Competition Authority’s decision that an online sales ban constituted a restriction of competition by object (Ping)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
On 7 September 2018, the Competition Appeal Tribunal ("CAT") handed down its judgment in Ping upholding the Competition and Market Authority ("CMA")’s decision that Ping’s online sales ban ("OSB") constituted a restriction of competition by object under EU and UK competition law. The aim of (...)

The EU Court of Justice hands down an anticipated judgment in the luxury goods sector regarding the possibility to restrict sales on third party online platforms that are outside of the selective distribution network (Coty Germany / Parfümerie Akzente)
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 French Supreme Court refers a case regarding an online 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 Santé)
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 Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court confirms a fine of over €8 million 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 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 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 (...)

All issues

  • Latest News issue 
  • All News issues
  • Latest Special issue 
  • All Special issues