The European Commission has opened an anti-trust investigation into the distribution agreements and practices of clothing manufacturer and retailer Guess.
“The commission has information indicating that Guess, in its distribution agreements, may ban cross-border sales to consumers. We are going to investigate Guess’ practices further to ensure that it’s playing by the rules and not preventing consumers from buying products across borders,” said competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
Guess designs, distributes and licenses clothing and accessories under the Guess and Marciano brands.
The commission will investigate information indicating that Guess’ distribution agreements may restrict authorised retailers from selling online to consumers or to retailers in other member states. They may also restrict wholesalers from selling to retailers in other member states.
It said that companies are generally free to set up the distribution system that best serves them. “However these systems must comply with EU competition rules. In particular, consumers must be free to purchase from any retailer authorised by a manufacturer, including across national borders.”