Court of Appeal Upholds CMA Decision on Online Sales

The Court of Appeal has upheld the CMA’s finding that a golf equipment supplier acted illegally by banning online sales of its products

The Court of Appeal’s judgment dismisses an appeal made by Ping Europe Ltd against an infringement decision and £1.25 million fine after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found it had broken competition law by stopping retailers from selling its clubs on their websites.

The move comes after the company’s initial appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) had been dismissed, in September 2018.

Today’s ruling, upholding the CMA’s main finding and the CAT’s judgment, means Ping must now allow retailers to sell its products online.

It sends another important signal that blanket bans by manufacturers on the sale of their products online are against the law.

Ann Pope, Senior Director for Antitrust Enforcement, said:

Twice now Ping Europe has appealed – and twice we’ve had our findings upheld that it broke the law by trying to stop online retailers from selling its golf clubs.
This sends a clear and important message: companies that try to stop people from shopping online for their products could be breaking the law.
We are determined that people should be able to shop around and enjoy the benefits of competition from online shops as well as in-stores.

Find out more about the CMA investigation on the case page.