Find a list of your saved stories here

EU fines NBCUniversal for restricting film merchandise sales

EU fines NBCUniversal for restricting film merchandise sales


1 photo
Save Story

Save stories to read later


Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union authorities have fined NBCUniversal for restricting cross-border sales of “Jurassic Park" toys, “Minions” school bags, “Big Lebowski" mugs and other licensed film merchandise, in the bloc's latest regulatory effort to enforce the competition rules governing its single market.

Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Thursday slapped a 14.3 million euro ($15.8 million) penalty on NBCUniversal and other companies owned by parent Comcast Corp. for “anti-competitive licensing and distribution practices” that are illegal under the bloc's rules.

Vestager said NBCUniversal contracts banned licensees from selling products in some countries and in some cases put limits on how they could sell online.

“A department store in Spain couldn't sell ‘E.T.' pyjamas from a Belgian manufacturer – because that manufacturer was banned from selling into Spain," Vestager said. “The extra-terrestrial may have made it all the way to Earth – but he was stopped in Spain because of a contractual restriction."

The result was that “consumers lost out on choice, and possibly also on lower prices,” she said.

NBCUniversal carried out the illegal behavior for more than six years, beginning at the start of 2013 as the company ramped up its licensing efforts ahead of the launch of “Despicable Me 2,” the EU said. It ended in September 2019, when the company dropped all its sales restrictions.

“The resolution of this matter is a positive step for the company’s continuing European operations,” Universal Brand Development, a division of NBCUniversal, said in a statement.

The company got a 30% discount on its fine because it cooperated with authorities. Vestager has taken similar action against Nike and Hello Kitty owner Sanrio.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos

Most recent Business stories

Related topics

Business
The Associated Press

    STAY IN THE KNOW

    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast