Selective distribution for cosmetics and eu competition rules on online sales

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On March 3 2011 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) Advocate General Ján Mazák issued a non-binding opinion on Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique SAS v Président de l’Autorité de la Concurrence and Ministre de l’Économie, de l’Industrie et de l’Emploi (Case C-439/09). In it, Mazák argues that selective distribution agreements which impose a general and absolute ban on the sale of cosmetics and personal care products by selected (authorised) distributors to end users on the internet may conflict with EU competition rules.

According to EU law, distributors are free to sell within a selective distribution system, both actively and passively, to all end users and in both the online and offline environments.

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