Sanction Against Bmw Ag for Restricting Direct and Parallel Imports

Published: 2021-06-29 07:00:01
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Sanction against BMW AG for restricting direct and parallel importsThe Swiss Federal Administrative Court (FAC) recently passed a new judgments on vertical agreements. The Court endorsed its previous Gaba case law and confirmed a sanction against BMW AG amounting to CHF 156 million for restricting direct and parallel imports.According to the ComCo, BMW’s European Economic Area (EEA) dealer contracts contained export ban clauses which prohibited EEA dealers from selling new BMW and MINI branded vehicles to customers outside the EEA and therefore to Swiss customers. The Comco also found that BMW had foreclosed the Swiss market and prevented competitive pressure on end-selling prices of new BMW and MINI vehicles. Therefore, end customers in Switzerland were not able to benefit from the significant exchange rate advantages.In May 2012, the Competition Commission (ComCo) imposed a fine amounting to CHF 156 million on BMW AG for restricting direct and parallel imports into Switzerland. Firstly, the FAC stated that pursuant to the effects doctrine restrictions of competition committed outside Switzerland also fall into the geographic scope of the Swiss Federal Act on Cartels (CartA). Some of BMW's distribution agreements contained a clause prohibiting authorized dealers within the EEA from selling cars to customers outside this area. Because Switzerland is not part of the EEA, this restriction also applied to customers located in Switzerland. The ComCo considered that the Swiss market was affected by the restriction, and that the CartA was applicable according the CartA Art.2 al.2

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