ECJ allows Coty to impose luxury goods online sales ban

The decision from the European court comes after the beauty license owner wanted to forbid its products from being sold on Amazon

Coty has scored a landmark achievement today, after the EU ruled that it can now stop retailers selling its products via third-party online platforms such as Amazon and ebay.

The European Court of Justice ruling came after Coty Germany sought to prohibit one of its distributors, Parfümerie Akzente, from selling its luxury marketed products via Amazon.

The decision will allow greater control for brands trying to preserve their luxury image.

“The Court notes in this context that the quality of luxury goods is not simply the result of their material characteristics, but also of the allure and prestigious image which bestows on them an aura of luxury,” said the ECJ.

“That aura is an essential aspect of those goods in that it thus enables consumers to distinguish them from other similar goods. Therefore, any impairment to that aura of luxury is likely to affect the actual quality of those goods.”

The case was referred to EU judges by a German court in Frankfurt, who were unsure of whether it was in breach of competition law.

Coty, whose luxury brands include Chloe and Marc Jacobs, welcomed the ruling.

“After years of uncertainty, this means luxury brands can determine how they are placed on digital platforms and it is a clear ruling for the protection of luxury brands’ image, the defence of our teams’ work and the protection of consumers’ rights and information,” the company said.

“As a consumer led company, we want to make our brands and products accessible for our consumers. It means that these can be accessed through our authorised retailers who will offer and promote our brands within the right environment and in the appropriate way.”