European Union lets luxury brands block goods from Amazon

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Any third-party platform ban must have the objective of preserving the luxury image of the goods, be applied uniformly and not in a discriminatory fashion, and be proportionate to the objective pursued.

It brought proceedings to stop these distributors selling its products on e-marketplace platforms, specifically Amazon.de, and the European Court has agreed that it is within the rights of luxury goods brands to stipulate which retail channels their products are sold through.

The issue is significant in Europe, whose companies account for 70% of global luxury good sales.

European competition law can not stop a luxury retailer that does not want its wares being trafficked via the online retail giant Amazon, the EU's highest court ruled Wednesday.

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"According to the court, the prohibition, imposed by a supplier of luxury goods on its authorised distributors, of the use, in a discernible manner, of third-party platforms for internet sales of those goods is appropriate to preserve the luxury image of those goods". Luxury owners have long waged a battle against what they see as free riders cashing in on their exclusivity and branding.

Online platforms say such curbs are anti-competitive and hurt small businesses.

Welcoming the decision, Coty said: "After years of uncertainty, this means luxury brands can determine how they are placed on digital platforms and it is a clear ruling for the protection of luxury brands" image, the defence of our teams' work and the protection of consumers' rights and information'.

Germany's antitrust agency said it was examining the European Union court ruling, but expected it to have only a limited effect on its own decisions.

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