The Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt ruled on 12 July 2018 that manufacturers of luxury products are permitted to restrict authorised resellers from reselling on online marketplaces.
The marketplace restriction at issue was imposed by Coty Germany on Parfümerie Akzente, one of its authorised distributors, to prohibit it from distributing Coty perfumes on a third-party online marketplace. The Frankfurt court confirmed that the restriction is justifiable as it is aimed at preserving the luxury image of Coty’s products. It also found that the restriction, which did not affect the ability of Parfumerie Akzente to maintain its own online shop, did not go further than necessary to achieve this aim. As part of a wider selective distribution system that was administered based on objective, qualitative criteria and uniformly applied in a non-discriminatory manner, the marketplace restriction also fell within the safe harbour under the EU Vertical Block Exemption Regulation.