Nike fined £10.7m for breaching EU antitrust rules

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Nike antitrust
// Nike fined €12.5m (£10.7m) by European Commission for breaching antitrust rules
// Breach was in relation to cross-border sale of football merchandise.
// Commission said Nike’s practices were in force for 13 years & “partitioned” the single market

Nike has been slugged with a €12.5 million (£10.7 million) fine from the European Commission after it was found to have breached antitrust rules.

The breach was in relation to the cross-border sale of merchandise, where the sportswear giant banned traders from selling licensed merchandise for football clubs including Barcelona and Manchester United to other countries within the European Economic Area.

EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said this was in breach of antitrust rules and led to higher prices for consumers.

The commission also found that Nike’s practices were in force for 13 years, up to 2017, and had effectively “partitioned” the single market.

“Football fans often cherish branded products from their favourite teams, such as jerseys or scarves,” Vestager said.

“Nike prevented many of its licensees from selling these branded products in a different country, leading to less choice and higher prices for consumers.

“This is illegal under EU antitrust rules. Today’s decision makes sure that retailers and consumers can take full advantage of one of the main benefits of the single market: the ability to shop around Europe for a larger variety of products and for the best deals.”

The European Commission granted Nike a 40 per cent reduction on its fine after the brand and retailer co-operated with the investigation “beyond its legal obligation to do so”.

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