On a European level, Article 101-1 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFUE) prohibits, by principle, any concerted practices which may affect trade between Member States and which have the object ,or effect, of preventing, restricting or distorting the competition rules within the internal market.
Selective distribution joins a priori in this form of restrictive competition practices in that it limits the distribution of products only to distributors approved by the supplier.
In a distribution contract, a German supplier of luxury products has, in order to preserve its image, forbidden its distributors to sell its products via a trading platform on the Internet : "Amazon.de".
The sale of the products via their own online shop however remains possible.
Requested for preliminary rulings by a German Court of Appeal, the Court of Justice of the European Union considers notably that:
The prohibition of the principle of restrictive competition practices therefore suffers a few regulated exceptions, but remains beneficial for the consumer who will be able to rely on the distributor website to buy the luxury products.
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