Nike has been hit with a €12.5m fine for blocking cross-border sales of soccer merchandise of some of Europe’s biggest clubs. The European Commission said the U.S. sportswear company’s illegal practices occurred from 2004 to 2017 and related to licensed merchandise for FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Juventus, Inter Milan, AS Roma and the French Football Federation.
The case focused on Nike’s licensing for making and distributing merchandise featuring a soccer club’s brands and not its own trademarks. Nike’s practices included clauses in contracts prohibiting out-of-territory sales and threats to end agreements if licensees ignored the clauses.
The sanction came after a two-year investigation triggered by a sector inquiry into e-commerce in the 28-country bloc.