Germany/UK: Adidas cleared in one case, implicated in another

Germany’s Federal Cartel Office announced Wednesday that it has closed its antitrust investigation into sportswear maker Adidas.

Reports say the company was under fire for refusing to sell its products on certain online marketplaces. German officials said Adidas has agreed to have its products sold on those sites now, leading to the Office to end the probe.

Since 2012, Adidas had looked to control its image by permitting authorized retailers only to sell its products online. Sites that could not sell Adidas products included Amazon and eBay, reports say.

But while Adidas scored a win in Germany, competition troubles have sprouted elsewhere for the brand.

UK-based sports retailer Sports Direct is reportedly targeting Adidas for what it calls anticompetitive behavior.

Reports say the retailer has reported Adidas to competition regulators after Adidas refused to supply Sports Direct with World Cup merchandise and other products. In return, Sports Direct is said to have taken the matter to the Competition and Markets Authority.

The store would only confirm that it is “active” with regulators regarding the situation, however.

The reports follow just days after Adidas said in an interview that it is willing to work with Sports Direct but there will have to be some negotiating. Sports Direct slammed the comments as “disingenuous.”

Full content: The Telegraph and Wall Street Journal

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