26/09/2019 - RESTRICTIVE MEASURES AND COMPETITION LAW: THE EU COMMISSION FINES NIKE

The European Commission has fined Nike €12.5 million for banning traders from selling licensed merchandise to other countries within the EU. This restriction concerned merchandising products of some of Europe's best-known football clubs and federations, for which Nike held the licence.

The EU Commission fined Nike for having prohibited its traders from selling licensed merchandise cross-border and online within the EU Single Market. The Commission found that Nike included in non-exclusive licensing and distribution agreements specific clauses that breached EU competition law. For example, clauses aimed at restricting out-of-territory sales by licensees, such as clauses imposing obligations to refer orders for out-of-territory sales to Nike and clauses imposing double royalties for out-of-territory sales; and clauses prohibiting licensees from supplying merchandising products to customers, who could sell outside the allocated territories.

The Commission has concluded that Nike's practices, which were in force for approximately 13 years, partitioned the Single Market in violation of article 101 (3) of the TFEU and Regulation 330/2010 and to the ultimate detriment of European consumers.

The fine was set taking into account the value of sales relating to the infringement, the gravity of the infringement and its duration, as well as, the fact that Nike cooperated with the Commission during the investigation.

 

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