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Adidas online sales practice draws interest of German watchdog

The Adidas logo is pictured on a shirt during the company's annual news conference in Herzogenaurach March 7, 2013. REUTERS/Michael Dalder
The Adidas logo is pictured on a shirt during the company's annual news conference in Herzogenaurach March 7, 2013. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

HERZOGENAURACH, Germany (Reuters) - The German cartel office is taking a closer look at the online sales practices of Adidas, which has banned some sellers from offering its products via sites like Ebay and Amazon.

The watchdog said on Tuesday such restrictions could hinder online sales and it was starting a web-based survey of around 3,000 retailers which sell Adidas products through stores or online.

Adidas last year said it had removed Ebay and Amazon from its network as it wanted its products to be sold only via expert and specialist retailers.

A spokesman for Adidas said the group had no doubt about the legality of its conditions and it had already answered questions from the cartel office on the matter.

Sneaker maker Asics was the subject of a similar probe last year. It said at the time only authorized sellers which met its criteria could sell its products.

The cartel office said on Tuesday the investigations were ongoing and it had received complaints against other brands.

(Reporting by Matthias Inverardi and Joern Poltz; Writing by Victoria Bryan; Editing by David Holmes)

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