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Competition & EU law insights

Keeping you up to date on Competition & EU law developments in Europe and beyond.

| 1 minute read

Netherlands: Dutch court applies Super Bock in ACM’s first ever RPM-case

The District Court of Rotterdam ruled on November 13, 2023 that Samsung Electronics Benelux B.V. (Samsung) had unlawfully influenced the online retail prices of television sets from seven retailers between January 2013 and December 2018, violating the cartel prohibitions in Article 6 of the Dutch Competition Act (Mw) and in Article 101 TFEU. This groundbreaking ruling upheld a fine of EUR 39,875,500 imposed by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) on Samsung, marking the first time that the ACM has imposed a fine for resale price restraints. The case gave the Dutch Court its first opportunity to test a decision on whether competition law is applied correctly to alleged vertical pricing restraints and to apply recent CJEU caselaw (Super Bock, Visma).

The Rotterdam Court established that Samsung had actively influenced the online resale prices of its retailers by monitoring resale prices, urging retailers to adjust diverging resale prices to Samsung's recommended level, and following up on complaints by competing retailers about the reduced online resale prices. Despite Samsung's arguments, the Court concluded that the company's practices had the object of restricting retailers' freedom to set their resale prices, thereby violating Article 101 TFEU and Article 4a of the Vertical Block Exemption (VBER). Samsung now has 6 weeks to file for higher appeal with the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal, the highest administrative court in the Netherlands.

Read the full article titled The Thin Line between Resale Price Restraints and Resale Price Recommendations: The Samsung Ruling of the District Court of Rotterdam of 13 November 2023  published on the Kluwer Competition Law Blog on 4 December 2023.

If you need more information or further guidance in this area, please contact the authors Pauline Kuipers or Reshmi Rampersad.



competition law, eu law, super bock, district court of rotterdam, cartel, netherlands, competition & eu law, samsung, retail price maintenance, retail and consumer