December 6, 2017 / 8:46 AM / 10 days ago

Europe's top court says Coty can impose online sales ban

BRUSSELS, Dec 6 (Reuters) - U.S. cosmetics company Coty can block retailers from selling their products on online platforms, Europe’s top court said on Wednesday.

“A supplier of luxury goods can prohibit its authorised distributors from selling those goods on a third-party internet platform such as Amazon,” the Court of Justice of the EU said.

“Such a prohibition is appropriate and does not, in principle, go beyond what is necessary to preserve the luxury image of the goods.”

The case involved Coty’s German subsidiary and German retailer Parfumerie Akzente, which sells Coty’s goods on sites including Amazon against the company’s wishes.

Luxury owners have long waged a battle against what they say are free riders cashing in on their exclusivity and branding. Online platforms such as Amazon and eBay in turn say online sales curbs are anti-competitive and hurt small businesses.

The issue is significant in Europe, whose companies account for 70 percent of global luxury good sales. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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