SELECTIVE DISTRIBUTION AND ONLINE SALES: the four "TO-DOs" to comply with EU Competition Law after the Coty judgment
May 10, 2017
Salome Cisnal De Ugarte, Gianni De Stefano
The Court of Justice of the European Union (the "CJEU" or "the Court") issued on 6 December 2017 a landmark judgment that will affect distribution and online sales in particular in the consumer goods and digital sectors. The Court confirms that luxury goods manufacturers that use selective distribution systems can restrict their authorised retailers from using third party online platforms in order to protect their products’ aura of luxury. EU competition law (in particular Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, hereafter the "TFEU") does not prevent such restrictions, as long as these are aimed at preserving the products’ luxury image, are proportionate to that aim; and are applied in a uniform and non-discriminatory way. Below we assess the main takeaways of the Coty judgment.