Following an inquiry into vertical aspects of online platforms and distribution channels, the Czech Office for the Protection of Economic Competition recently found that online travel agency (OTA) Booking.com had included most-favoured-nation (MFN) clauses in its agreements with hotels in the Czech Republic between 1 May 2009 and 30 June 2015. According to the Office, these clauses distorted competition on the Czech online booking platform market for hotels and possibly also other EU countries and therefore constituted a breach of Czech competition law. The Office imposed a fine of CZK 8.3 million.
Judgment in the Coty case: Prohibition against use of third party’s online platform was not unlawful
On 6 December 2017, the European Court of Justice delivered the long-awaited judgment in the Coty case. The ECJ ruled that the cosmetics manufacturer Coty’s prohibition against its distributors’ internet sale via third parties like Ebay and Amazon was not unlawful. The matter preoccupies many businesses and national competition authorities and this judgment brings more clarity about the legal position within the area – especially for high-end brands. (more…)
Today it was published that Opel Danmark A/S has accepted a fine of DKK 8.25 million on 13 October 2016 for an infringement of section 6 of the Danish Competition Act.
The case concerns an anti-competitive vertical agreement between Opel and their independent dealers. In the period from 2010 to 2014, Opel has set minimum retail prices for the dealers’ sale of used Opel leasing, rental and demo cars. Consequently, Opel has prevented the distributors from competing on price for sale of these cars, which is a breach of section 6 of the Danish Competition Act.
In the determination of the fine it has been a mitigation circumstance that Opel has given the authorities information about the infringement and that Opel has documented that an extensive compliance program has been implemented.
Opel has decided to plead guilty and accept a fine notice from the Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Financial Crime. Consequently, the case has been settled without a trail.
Lidl, Edeka, Metro, Netto and other retailers in Germany fined EUR 90.5 million for resale price maintenance
The German Competition Authority has passed decisions in new cases in their enquiry into the food retail sector. The retailers has been fined for vertical price agreements with suppliers of beer, confectionery products and coffee. The product brands include Beck’s, Franziskaner, Hasseröder, Haribo and Melitta.
The decisions are part of a larger investigation, where many well-known retailers have been sanctioned for vertical price maintenance on shop prices of a wide variety of products.
The German Competition Authorities started the investigation with dawn raids back in January 2010.