Our website uses cookies

Cookies enable us to provide the best experience possible and help us understand how visitors use our website. By browsing Essential Retail Magazine, you agree to our use of cookies.

Okay, I understand Learn more

Nike fined €12.5 million for geoblocking

Nike has been fined €12.5 million by the European Commission for restricting cross-border sales of licenced football club merchandise to consumers in certain European member states.

Back in June 2017, the Commission opened an antitrust investigation into certain licensing and distribution practices of Nike. The Commission found the retailer was using direct and indirect measures to illegally restrict traders from selling the merchandise outside allocated territories, putting customers in certain areas of Europe at a disadvantage.

The Commission found that Nike’s illegal practices of restricting the selling of merchandise cross-border and online within the EU Single Market were in force for around 13 years until October 2017.

Football club merchandise from the likes of FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Juventus, Inter Milan and AS Roma, as well as national federations like the French Football Federation were restricted.

"Football fans often cherish branded products from their favourite teams, such as jerseys or scarves,” explained commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is in charge of competition policy. “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."

At the end of 2018, American fashion brand, Guess, was fined almost €40 million by the European Commission for similar cross-border selling restrictions. Customers in a number of Eastern European countries were forced to pay 5-10% more than those in Western Europe.

What’s Hot on Essential Retail?