Brussels fine Hello Kitty manufacturer

The Japanese company Sanrio must pay 6.2 million euros to the European Commission

The European Commission imposed a fine of 6.2 million euros on the Sanrio company for illegally restricting the cross-border sale of the Hello Kitty drawing in European economic space for 11 years to European merchants.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: “The decision confirms that merchants of licensed products can not be prevented from selling these in a different country.”

The restrictions are contrary to the antitrust rules of the European Union as they reduce the alternatives and lead to potentially higher prices for consumers.

The authorities applied to Sanrio a 40% reduction in the amount of the sanction in response to the collaboration provided by the Japanese company; particularly with regard to the provision of information to determine the period of the infringement.

It is worth noting that Sanrio Company is a Japanese company that designs, licenses, manufactures and markets various products related to Hello Kitty as well as other characters such as My Melody, Chococat and Keroppi.

The European Commission opened an investigation in 2017 on various distribution and licensing practices of Sanrio on the suspicion that it illegally restricted cross-border and online sales.


Source: El País

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