20. december 2006
On the 20th of December 2006 the Danish Competition Council made the commitments given by Fritz Hansen A/S in relation to their standard terms binding.
Fritz Hansen A/S manufactures furniture of high quality in the market for upper-end furniture. Fritz Hansen A/S owns the rights to furniture designed by Arne Jacobsen, Poul Kjærholm, Piet Hein and others. The furniture is distributed through a selective distribution system with approximately 750 authorized dealers in more than 25 countries. Fritz Hansen A/S has approximately 90 authorized dealers in Denmark. The selective distribution system for the Danish dealers is regulated in Fritz Hansen A/S’s “Partneraftale” (standard terms).
The standard terms for the Danish dealers for 2006 included following conditions which The Danish Competition Authority found problematic in relation to the competition rules:
- Competition clause according to which the dealer is forbidden to sell any product that at Fritz Hansen A/S’s discretion is a copy or look-alike.
- Competition clause according to which Fritz Hansen A/S has to give written consent before the dealer is allowed to sell any competing product.
- Approval clause according to which Fritz Hansen A/S has to previously approve the quality of the dealer’s internet-sale-site.
- Delimitation of the market to the EC and the EEA-countries exclusive Cyprus.
- An annual minimal purchase requirement of 800.000 DKK for each dealer in 2007.
- Progressive, retro-active rebates with a “rebate span” of 12 %.
Fritz Hansen A/S was sympathetic towards changing their future standard terms and offered following commitments in order to meet the concerns of the Danish Competition Authority:
- The competition clause according to which the dealer is forbidden to sell any product that at Fritz Hansen A/S’s discretion is a copy or look-alike will be changed so that in the future it is no longer up to Fritz Hansen A/S to decide whether or not the products are copies or look-alikes.
- The competition clause according to which Fritz Hansen A/S has to give written consent before the dealer is allowed to sell any competing product will be removed from the standard terms.
- The approval clause according to which Fritz Hansen A/S has to give previous approval of the quality of an internet-sale-site will be changed so that in the future the demands are written and based on objective criteria regarding the quality of an internet-sale-site.
- The delimitation of the market will in the future include Cyprus.
- The annual minimal purchase requirement will in the future be enforced on the basis of in advance decided and written criteria.
- Instead of progressive, retro-active rebates Fritz Hansen A/S will in the future only use incremental (marginal) rebates.
The Danish Competition Council made on the 20th of December 2006 the commitments binding until the 31st of December 2008 jfr. § 16 a in the Danish competition act.