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Dusseldorf Court confirms that Asics' online sales restrictions violate competition law

Dusseldorf Court confirms that Asics' online sales restrictions violate competition law

01.05.2017 EU law

On 5 April 2017, the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court upheld the German Competition Authority (Bundeskartellamt's) 2016 Asics decision [see our February 2016 Newsletter]. At the time of writing, the full text of the judgment was not available.

The Court confirmed that contractually prohibiting retailers from using price comparison websites constitutes a "by object" infringement of competition law. The Court considered that the restriction imposed by Asics could not be justified to protect its brand image and pre-sales services.

In contrast, the European Commission's preliminary report of the e-commerce sector inquiry [see our October 2016 Newsletter] suggests that online price comparison restrictions which are imposed by a manufacturer in the context of a selective distribution system may, in principle, be permissible to ensure quality standards on the promotion of their products on the internet.

This article was published in the Competition Law Newsletter of May 2017. Other articles in this newsletter:

  1. Court of Justice allows use of evidence received from national tax authorities
  2. Court of Justice clarifies parental liability rules in the context of prescription
  3. European Commission publishes report on effectiveness of enforcement in online hotel booking sector
  4. Hague Court of Appeal rules on interpretation of object infringements
  5. Commercial Court of Ghent grants compensation to parallel importers for competition law infringement by Honda

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