European Commission opens three investigations into suspected competition law infringements in e-commerce

The European Commission (the “Commission”) has formally opened the following three investigations into suspected competition law infringements in e-commerce:

  • The Commission is investigating whether Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer have breached competition law by restricting the ability of online retailers to set their own prices for consumer electronics products. The Commission considers that the use of automated pricing software, which adapts retail prices to those of leading competitors, may have caused the alleged competition infringement to have a broader impact on online prices for the relevant consumer electronics products. 
  • The Commission is investigating whether bilateral agreements between Valve Corporation and five PC video game publishers breached the competition rules.  In particular, the Commission is considering whether customers from one Member State were prevented from accessing games distributed on Valve’s platform ‘Steam’ in another Member State.
  • The Commission is investigating agreements regarding hotel accommodation concluded between European tour operators and Melia Hotels. The Commission is concerned that the agreements may contain clauses that discriminate between customers based on their nationality or country of residence. The Commission considers that this may amount to a competition law infringement as it may prevent customers from booking hotel accommodation on more favourable terms offered by tour operators in other Member States.

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