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The Danish Competition Council has adopted a decision finding the exchange of information on prices, discounts and quantities in relation to future sales between retailers of clothing items illegal

On June 24 2020, the Danish Competition Council (DCC) adopted two separate decisions concerning HUGO BOSS NORDIC ApS (HUGO BOSS) and Axel Kaufmann ApS (Kaufmann) and HUGO BOSS, Ginsborg ApS and Ginsborg Frederiksberg Centret ApS (Ginsborg) respectively. In the decisions it is concluded that the parties’ exchange of information on prices, discounts and quantities in relation to future sales constituted a violation of Section 6 of the Danish Competition Act and TFEU article 101. The Danish Competition Council has ordered HUGO BOSS, Kaufmann and Ginsborg to cease the illegal behavior and to refrain from similar activities in the future.

HUGO BOSS is an international manufacturer, supplier and retailer of clothing items of the brand Hugo Boss. Kaufmann and Ginsborg are Danish retailers of clothing items from different brands, including the brand Hugo Boss. HUGO BOSS has a vertical relation to Kaufmann and Ginsborg respectively as a supplier as well as a horizontal relation as a competitor.

Often, there are no competitive concerns associated with exchange of information in a vertical relationship. However, when the manufacturer/supplier is also a retailer of clothing items competing with its downstream customers, exchange of information on prices, discounts and quantities may restrict competition between them at the horizontal level. In these two cases, the exchange of information on prices, discounts and quantities gave HUGO BOSS, Kaufmann and Ginsborg the ability to coordinate their future sales in accordance with the information exchanged which may have led to a more uniform and reduced range of products on sale as well as lower discounts, equal to higher prices for the consumers.

Based on the evidence in these cases, the DCC found that HUGO BOSS/Kaufmann and HUGO BOSS/Ginsborg infringed Section 6 of the Danish Competition Act and TFEU article 101.

For further information please contact Head of Unit, Louise Kastfelt, phone +45 71 51 80, e-mail lka@kfst.dk.

Please find the decisions in Danish:

The decision regarding HUGO BOSS and Kaufmann (in Danish)

The decision regarding HUGO BOSS and Ginsborg (in Danish)