Zenith CC&P Current Awareness

​European Commission fines Guess for online sales and advertising restrictions

20 December 2018

Prof. Suzanne Rab

The European Commission has imposed a €39.8 million fine on the clothing company Guess for online sales and advertising restrictions, reduced by 50% as a result of the company’s admissions.

The Commission found that Guess limited its retail distributors from using its trademarks and brand names for online search advertising or online selling without its permission.  The arrangements also restricted retailers in selling outside their allocated territory, making cross-supplies to other authorised distributors and independently setting retail prices.

The Commission maintains that Guess divided markets in eastern and central Europe where retail prices for its products were, on average, 5-10% higher than in western Europe.

The Commission reduced the fine by 50% to take account of the fact that Guess drew the practices to its attention and provided significant information for the antitrust investigation.  Guess also admitted liability and its participation in the infringement. 

This case is among the first cases where Commission has used its new cooperation procedure in respect of non-cartel conduct and where an investigated party admits the facts and liability in return for a reduction in the fine.

The probe was launched on the back of the Commission’s e-commerce sector inquiry.

Current Awareness

By the CC&P team