A SUPPLIER OF LUXURY GOODS MAY PROHIBIT ITS AUTHORISED RETAILERS FROM SELLING ITS PRODUCTS ON THIRD-PARTY PLATFORMS
The Advocate General Wahl has reached his conclusion in the Case C-230/16 Coty Germany GmbH/Parfümerie Akzente GmbH, currently pending before the European Court of Justice, stating that a supplier of luxury goods may prohibit its authorized retailers from selling its products on third-party platforms such as Amazon or eBay.
The conclusion of the Advocate General is based on the fact that the Court has already established in previous cases that, in view of their characteristics and nature, luxury goods may require the implementation of a selective distribution system, based upon specific qualitative criteria, in order to preserve the quality of those goods and to ensure that they are properly used.
Moreover, the supplier (Coty Germany) only required its authorized distributors not to sell the contract products via third party platforms, since such platforms are not required to comply with the qualitative requirements which it imposes on its authorized distributors. Distributors, however, remained free to sell the products via Internet through their e-commerce websites.
The issue discussed by the Advocate General in his conclusion in the Case C-230/16 Coty Germany GmbH/Parfümerie Akzente GmbH is of utmost interest as it highlights risks and complexities deriving from the use of diverse distribution channels (e.g. agency, distributorship, e-commerce, etc.).
In this regard, Santosuosso Avvocati has organized a seminar that will take place next October 10, 3.30-5.30 p.m., in Stradone San Fermo 20, Verona (Italy). The seminar will discuss risks deriving from the use of diverse distribution channels and what steps can be taken to mitigate them.
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avv. Sondra Faccio