Bundeskartellamt takes a critical view of restriction of online distribution by ASICS
After a preliminary examination the Bundeskartellamt has found that the selective distribution system of ASICS poses a number of serious restraints to competition
After a preliminary examination the Bundeskartellamt has found that the selective distribution system of ASICS Deutschland, which allows for the sale of running shoes to final customers only via authorised dealers, poses a number of serious restraints to competition. These concerns apply above all to the extensive hindrance of online distribution. Today ASICS Deutschland was informed in writing about the authority's concerns. The company has been given a deadline until 10 June 2014 to comment on the matter.
The Bundeskartellamt criticizes in particular that the dealers are prohibited without exception from using online marketplaces such as eBay or Amazon. The authority also objects to ASICS prohibiting its dealers from supporting price comparison engines. ASICS does not allow its distributors to use its brand names on the websites of third parties, not even to guide customers to the online shop of an authorised ASICS dealer. The Bundeskartellamt views each of these three prohibitions as an inadmissible hardcore restriction. Taken together they constitute a de facto ban on internet distribution.
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