Short Reads

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

Dusseldorf Court confirms that Asics' online sales restrictions viola

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

01.05.2017 NL 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

Team

Related news

02.07.2020 NL law
European Commission to pull the strings of foreign subsidies

Short Reads - The European Commission is adding powers to its toolbox to ensure a level playing field between European and foreign(-backed) companies active on the EU market. On top of merger control and Foreign Direct Investment screening obligations, companies may also need to account for future rules allowing scrutiny of subsidies granted by non-EU governments if those subsidies might distort the EU Single Market.

Read more

04.06.2020 NL law
Please share – ACM conditionally clears shared mobility platform merger

Short Reads - There may soon be a new competition tool available to tackle structural competition concerns in dynamic tech and platform markets. Until then, competition authorities resort to existing tools to deal with these markets. The Dutch competition authority (ACM) recently subjected the merger of two emerging platforms – without significant market footprint – to behavioural remedies. On 20 May 2020, the ACM cleared the merger between the travel apps of Dutch rail operator NS and transport company Pon.

Read more

02.07.2020 NL law
New competition tool: something old, something new, something borrowed

Short Reads - Large online platforms may face more regulatory obligations, whilst non-dominant companies’ unilateral conduct may soon be curbed. The European Commission intends to tool up its kit by adding a new regulation to keep digital gatekeepers in check, as well as providing more clarity on how to define digital markets in its new Market Definition Notice.

Read more

04.06.2020 NL law
No proof of competitive disadvantage? No abusive favouritism

Short Reads - Companies claiming abuse of dominance in civil proceedings have their work cut out for them, as demonstrated by a ruling of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal. Real estate association VBO had accused dominant online platform Funda of favouritism. However, in line with the District Court’s earlier ruling, the Appeal Court dismissed the claim for insufficient evidence of negative effects on competition. The ruling confirms that the effect-based approach also applies in civil abuse claims, and that the standard of proof is high.    

Read more