back to article Luxury brands welcome EU law to restrict online sales

Manufacturers will be allowed to require their distributors to have 'brick and mortar' shops as well as an online presence under a Regulation published today that will change competition law across the EU from next month. Current laws have been criticised for lacking clarity over what manufacturers can and cannot do to control …


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  1. PhonicUK
    Thumb Down

    In short...

    These companies don't feel they can compete with online-only stores which can operate much more efficiently than the traditional brick and mortar stores and have lobbied for legislation to force stores to play on the manufacturers terms and drive up prices.

    Sound familiar?

  2. TeeCee Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    Oh well.

    I wonder how much money^H^H^H^H^H^Heffort the tat merchants had to spend in bribes^H^H^H^H^H^Hlobbying to get that one through?

    ".....shows the Commission's recognition of the importance of the luxury goods industry to Europe." If it looks like Pork and smells like Pork..........

    Most annoying about this is that very important legislative decisions on what is and is not anticompetitive are being made by the Commission. You know, that body that's appointed rather than elected, accountable only to itself and which has extensive previous for nepotism, graft and pork-barrel politics.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    EU restricts free trade

    Where does the EU get off assisting price fixing and cartels in this way?

    Item X is officially for sale in the UK for (say) £100.

    It sells somewhere else for (say) £50.

    It can be shipped to the UK for £10, profit of £20 taken and hit the streets for £80-£90.

    So it is possible for a distributor to legally buy and ship stuff to the UK and challenge the "official" channel. This is GOOD! This is a free market. This is keeping prices down etc etc.

    But no. The EU would rather see price fixing enshrined in law. Arseholes.

    If a company is so monumentally stupid as to threaten their own business by having huge, regional price disparities (remember CD-Wow?) then that is their own problem, not the EU's. If price is one way a product is marked out as being "luxury", and that price is based on need (material, skilled manufacturing etc.) then again it does not need protection as no one can compete at a lower price point. If, however, it is just cheap crap sold for a high price, the EU has no business in supporting that ridiculous and anti-consumer business model.

  4. Michael 36

    Don't worry

    "Manufacturers will be allowed to require their distributors to have 'brick and mortar' shops..."

    Won't be too costly for any retailer to build a shop out of a single brick.

  5. Hugh Jorgen
    Paris Hilton

    I see dead businesses......

    Here's an idea for a company that has a B&M store........

    get validated by a luxury brand, agree a volume related discount against traders list prices, then wholesale to online only businesses for a small percent.....just enough to wet their beak at say 5-10%, then blast out units to meet the volume discount.

    Voila, a middleman between the manufacturer selling direct to online businesses they don't want to supply.


    Paris, because she's both exclusive and grubby at the same time

    (just like a luxury brand and their 8 year old sweatshop workers)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Devil's Advocate...

    Ok, but what about the stores that are being used by the online retailers as free high street show rooms? You know, you go to a book shop, like what you see, use an app on your phone to report how much that book (or whatever) costs online and order it through your phone, there and then.

    This is hardly fair competition, many brick-and-mortar retailers complain about this forcing them out of business, especially hi-fi and computer retaillers who do all the sales work and then find that this very rarely translates into a sale, becuase the potential customer gets the product from an internet only discounter.

    I personally want to have a high street where I can buy stuff that isn't cheap tat in a bankruptcy sale shop. That's not to say that I don't also buy stuff from online discounters...

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