The German Office of Fair Trading deems that Asics limits free competition for retailers, when it tells them not to sell their products online on platforms like Amazon or eBay.
"Control over brand presentation"
Asics does not allow its German dealers to sell products on platforms like Amazon or eBay or to advertise on comparison sites with Asics' logo. According to the company, it wishes to keep control over how its brand is presented to the customer, with Nike and Adidas doing the same thing in Germany. The latter two companies are also being examined by the Office for Fair Trading, which means they are also seeing how the Asics situation will evolve.
German lawyers see very few issues with the limitations, as every dealer gets the same limitation which means that there is no distortion of competition. The Bundeskartellamt believes the restriction is mostly to keep the price competition in check, "both online and in physical stores".
The Office states that the group of restrictions "basically forms a restriction on online trade" and that is why the restrictions are deemed to be an inadmissible limitation of competition. Asics has up until 10 June to refute Bundeskartellamt's decision.