Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) and Universal Studios are among the latest batch of companies to fall foul of the European Union’s competition authorities, which is to probe their brand licensing behaviour.
The European Commission will investigate whether the pair and also Hello Kitty owner Sanrio are illegally controlling the sale of licensed merchandise products between different countries within the EU.
"We are going to examine whether the licensing and distribution practices of these three companies may be denying consumers access to wider choice and better deals in the single market," said European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
The probes are part of a widespread crackdown by into e-commerce in Europe that has involved looking at 1,900 companies.
If they are found to be in breach of Europe’s anti-competition rules, companies can be fined up to 10% of global sales revenue.
Universal Studios is part of Comcast, while Sanrio hails from Japan.