Page last updated at 14:21 GMT, Monday, 30 November 2009

eBay fined in LVMH perfume sales row

eBay sign
The case could be significant for other sellers

A Parisian court has fined eBay 1.7m euros (£1.5m) after ruling that it had not kept to an injunction banning users from selling on LVMH perfumes.

eBay users in France are blocked from selling certain branded perfumes -including Christian Dior, Givenchy and Kenzo - on the internet auction site.

eBay said the injunction hurt consumers and called it an abuse of "selective distribution".

The company added that it hoped the ruling would be overturned.

"Today's outcome hurts consumers by preventing them from buying and selling authentic items online," said Alex Von Schiermeister, director of eBay Europe.

"The injunction is an abuse of 'selective distribution'. It effectively enforces restrictive distribution contracts, which is anti-competitive.

"We believe that the higher courts will overturn this ruling and ensure that e-commerce companies such as eBay will continue to provide a platform for buyers and sellers to trade authentic goods."

He added that the fine was "disproportionate given that eBay complied with the injunction".

Reselling

Users in France are being blocked from selling on the LVMH products, even if they are genuine and unused.

LVMH has previously accused eBay of brand counterfeiting and of using some of the keywords of LVMH brands in its adverts.

It said that sales on the site violated Christian Dior's distribution network, which only allowed sales through specialist dealers.

French sellers have also been blocked from selling the perfumes on the UK website.

In the UK, 150,000 perfumes in the top 20 brands were sold on eBay in the 12 months to September.



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