In its decision no. 15-D-18 dated 1 December 2015, the Competition Authority ruled in favour of Nintendo France and its Japanese parent company Nintendo Co. Ltd., dismissing the case. This decision ends the procedure initiated by the DGCCRF (General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control), then the Competition Authority, against Nintendo eight years ago.
The Nintendo group was alleged to have put in place a retail price fixing policy for its distributors in France on the Wii console, its games and accessories, during its launch in December 2006 and again at the end of 2009.
The Competition Authority referred to the usual body of evidence (mention of a retail price by the supplier to the distributors, implementation of a retail price monitoring policy and observation of retail price alignment) to declare both allegations groundless.
The Competition Authority upheld Nintendo’s arguments on the absence of a price monitoring policy with its distributors and dismissed the case without deeming it necessary to examine any retail price alignment and thereby without handling the interesting topic of price construction in a two-sided market, such as that of video game consoles.
The Nintendo group was advised by Gide (partner Antoine Choffel and Charles Terdjman), with the assistance of Frédéric Jenny. CRA (Laurent Flochel) also advised on certain economic aspects.