The Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) has issued a statement of objections to Ping Europe Limited (“Ping”) alleging that Ping has breached UK and EU competition law by operating an online sales ban, which prevents retailers selling Ping golf clubs online.
Ann Pope, CMA Senior Director, commented that “the internet is an increasingly important distribution channel and retailers’ ability to supply via this channel should not be unduly restricted. This drives competition among rival retailers because they compete to attract consumers who are using the internet to shop around for the best deals. Bans on internet trading can be a problem if they seek to prevent retailers reaching a significant proportion of customers.”
Ping now has an opportunity to respond to the CMA’s allegations and the CMA will consider any justifications put forward by Ping before adopting a decision.