DUESSELDORF/FRANKFURT, June 27 Moves by leading
sporting goods companies such as Nike Inc, Adidas AG
and Asics Corp to restrict sales over
internet platforms like Amazon.com Inc and eBay Inc
have drawn the attention of competition authorities in
The German cartel office is investigating Japanese sneaker
maker Asics over its sales practices and has also received
complaints about market leaders Nike and Adidas, the watchdog
said on Wednesday.
Adidas and Nike don't want their sneakers to be sold via
online platforms such as Amazon and eBay in order to have more
control over the way they are presented.
"We want to ensure our products with a performance element
are sold only by specialist retailers with the necessary
training and knowledge," Adidas Chief Executive Herbert Hainer
said in Warsaw last week.
"We get lots of cases where people say 'your shoes didn't
make me faster'," Hainer added. "We removed Ebay and Amazon from
our network because we want our products to be sold by experts."
A spokesman for Nike in Germany said it only allowed
authorised retailers that fulfil certain criteria to sell its
products in Europe and that Amazon and Ebay were not on that
The cartel office did not say who had made the complaints
about the internet sales restriction but only affected parties
may complain to the watchdog, meaning it is likely to be
retailers who are no longer receiving stock.
German paper FTD reported that a retailer had complained to
the cartel office after Asics halted deliveries of products
because the retailer didn't stick to prices.
"We are looking at changes to supply conditions at Asics.
Restrictions in online sales form part of this," a spokesman for
the cartel office said.
Asics Germany could not immediately be reached for comment.
The office said no investigation was underway regarding the
complaints against Adidas and Nike.
"We are not aware of any pending requests from the
anti-trust authorities," an Adidas spokeswoman said.