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German Supreme Court Issues Landmark Ruling on Unfair Trading Practices

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Market-dominant and powerful companies in Germany are subject to a number of rules that are significantly broader and stricter than the European Union’s, Article 102 AEUV, which prohibits the abuse of a dominant position. A recent decision by the German Supreme Court provides guidance on a previously rarely applied prohibition on demanding unjustified benefits from suppliers. The decision significantly broadens the scope of Germany’s prohibition on demanding unjustified benefits from suppliers. It loosens the criteria for the application of the prohibition, eliminates the previous requirement of an abuse of the dominant or powerful position, and toughens the criteria for a justification of the demand.

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