Manufacturer fined £1.45 million for banning online sales

Golfer silhouette

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has fined the golf club manufacturer Ping Europe Limited £1.45 million for preventing two UK retailers from selling its products online.

Although Ping was ‘pursuing a genuine commercial aim of promoting in-store custom fitting’, its online sales ban nonetheless breached competition law. The CMA ordered Ping to end the ban and not to impose the same or equivalent terms on other retailers.

Although Ping must allow retailers to sell its products online, it may require them to meet certain conditions when doing so, providing those conditions are compatible with competition law.

The case clearly demonstrates that prohibiting online sales constitutes a serious breach of UK and EU competition law. Suppliers and resellers should seek legal advice before attempting to restrict online sales via their commercial agreements. This includes attempting to ban or limit the use of online marketplaces and other online platforms.

Competition law solicitors in Eastbourne, Hailsham, Bexhill and Hastings

For general guidance on competition law please read our new Competition Law Briefing Note. For expert legal advice please contact Gaby Hardwicke Partner Mark Williams by email or call him on 01323 435 900. To learn about Mark’s skills and experience please view his website profile.

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