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How far can brands control the online resale of their products? EU competition enforcement outlook

Steptoe & Johnson LLP


Since the European Commission unveiled the results of its e-commerce sector inquiry in 2017, enforcement against brand suppliers imposing stringent contractual restrictions on their online retailers has been on the rise at both European and national levels.

At the same time, recent cases have brought more nuances in the competitive assessment of certain online restraints.

This webinar will recap the key EU competition developments and main takeaways, including:

  • Internet sales bans, platform bans and the use of comparison websites
  • Resale price maintenance, minimum advertised prices and most-favoured-nation clauses
  • Geo-blocking
  • Upcoming enforcement and policy developments, including the review of the EU rules on vertical restraints


Yves Botteman

Yves Botteman is a partner at Steptoe & Johnson, LLP and leads the firm’s global antitrust and competition practice. He represents companies in cartel and antitrust investigations and has secured early termination without fines or very favourable outcomes in several European Commission proceedings. His antitrust litigation practice includes representations in significant follow-on damages cases before national courts of EU member states.

He works with clients to shape their market strategy and design and implement their distribution network in Europe. He also regularly advises clients on the rising EU competition enforcement into e-commerce, including geo-blocking, online platforms, algorithms, Big Data and the Internet of Things. He also provides practical support in implementing antitrust compliance programmes and conducting audits.    

He has gained substantial exposure to the media and internet, consumer products, chemicals and agro-technology, aviation and aerospace, automotive and insurance industries.

Jean-Nicolas Maillard

Jean-Nicolas Maillard is a partner at Steptoe & Johnson, LLP. His practice focuses on EU and French competition law, particularly cartel and other antitrust investigations. Over the last few years, he has represented companies in connection with numerous EU and French Competition Authority cases and related litigation, and has been defending several follow-on litigation cases in French courts. 

He also works closely with suppliers on all issues connected to the distribution of their products and services in Europe. He regularly organises, implements and manages antitrust compliance initiatives with in-house teams, including risk mapping and comprehensive antitrust audits. 

He has advised clients in relation to over 100 corporate transactions and obtained merger control clearances for their strategic operations from the European Commission and national competition authorities throughout the world. 

Clients quoted by Chambers and Partners describe him as "easy to work with and a strong expert with a good business understanding".

Marieke Scholz
European Commission

Marieke Scholz is deputy head of the unit responsible for antitrust case support and policy of the European Commission's Directorate General for Competition.

She graduated as a lawyer from Humboldt University of Berlin (Germany) and holds a master’s degree in European studies from the University of Siena (Italy). After private practice in a Brussels law firm, she joined the European Commission in 2007 where she has been working mainly on antitrust enforcement and policy, with a particular focus on the IT and telecommunications sectors. 


31 January 2019
15:00 - 15:55 UTC
55 min