EU fines Nike 12.4 mn euros over football merchandise

The EU's powerful competition authority Monday imposed a 12.5 million euro ($14 million) fine on US sports apparel giant Nike for restricting cross-border sales in Europe of jerseys and scarves of top football teams.

According to the European Commission, Nike imposed illegal licensing deals on merchandise from clubs such as FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Juventus, Inter Milan and AS Roma, as well as national federations including World Cup winners France.

"Today's decision makes sure that retailers and consumers can take full advantage of one of the main benefits of the Single Market," European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

Nike obtained a 40 percent reduction from an initial figure in return for its cooperation with the commission, which opened its investigation in June 2017 over practices that took place over 13 years.

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