Laurie-Anne Grelier

Laurie-Anne Grelier

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Swiss court refuses to scrub toothpaste fine for import bans

Prices of branded goods in Switzerland have historically been higher than in neighboring countries.  As a result, measures that impede parallel imports into Switzerland have long been seen as preventing Swiss customers from purchasing cheaper products from the European Union (EU), and have triggered complaints to the Swiss competition authority (ComCo).  ComCo has actively investigated … Continue Reading

Closing a deal without competition clearance may be expensive

This is the message that the French Competition Authority (FCA) reinforced when it imposed a €4 million fine on Bordeaux-based wine maker Castel Frères group in December 2013 for failing to obtain pre-closing clearance for its acquisition of 6 companies that were part of the rival Patriarche group in 2011. The FCA became aware of … Continue Reading

Italian competition watchdog flexes its muscles against RPM and parallel trade

The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) may be ramping up its enforcement activities regarding branded goods distribution.  On November 26, 2013, it announced that it was launching an investigation into sport nutrition company Enervit’s distribution network.  The ICA alleges that certain arrangements between Enervit and its distributors may be anti-competitive, in particular: Resale Price Maintenance (RPM).  … Continue Reading

No general luxury exemption for internet restraints in selective distribution

Brand owners’ policies on internet distribution continue to sit squarely in the sights of competition authorities in the European Union.  Brand owners’ selective distribution policies that in effect prevent authorized retailers from selling via the internet are of particular interest. The French Supreme Court’s hard line approach in its September 2013 Pierre Fabre Dermo-cosmétique ruling … Continue Reading

Retail pricing of luxury goods remains a fashionable target for EU competition regulators

As previously reported, scrutiny of retail pricing in the luxury industry continues to be a priority for European competition authorities.  In addition to ongoing investigations of retail pricing of sportswear apparel in Denmark and luxury watches in Poland, the German competition authority (FCO) recently imposed  €6.5 million fines on natural cosmetics maker WALA and two … Continue Reading

Luxury watch pricing under Polish antitrust watchdog’s microscope

Scrutiny of retail pricing of luxury goods appears to continue to be a priority of European competition authorities.  The latest example is the Polish Competition Authority’s ongoing probe into the luxury watch sector. The probe became public through dawn raids, and targets three Polish importers of branded watches: The Swatch Group Poland; Przedsiębiorstwo Handlowo–Usługowe Jubiler; … Continue Reading
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