German court greenlights Coty’s Amazon ban

German court greenlights Coty’s Amazon ban

The Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt has ruled in favor of Coty in a battle with its distributers over online sales platforms, according to a report published by Lexology.

Coty sought to prevent distributors from selling its products via third party platforms such as Amazon.de and is now able to do so thanks to a European Court of Justice (ECJ) preliminary reference on which the German court’s decision was based. The ECJ found that such a restriction was justified where it is designed to preserve an ‘aura of luxury’.

National courts within the European Union are free to interpret the opinion and decide whether any restrictions could be considered justifiable on a case by case basis – the Frankfurt court found that a selective distribution strategy such as Coty’s was compatible with competition law as it was ‘uniformly applied without discrimination’ and did not go beyond what was necessary to preserve the image of the goods.

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