American golf equipment retailer PING has caused controversy by stopping two UK retailers from selling some of its products online.
The products in question are golf clubs and PING's position is that the limitation relating to online sales comes down to their desire to offer custom fitting of clubs to each golfer's needs. Custom fitting, in golf, is the process of fitting a golfer with a full set of clubs accustomed to their needs, in order that a golfer can play to the best of their ability with the correctly suited equipment. According to National Club Golfer, PING is an advocate of custom fitting, which ideally will result in a golfer purchasing the best version of PING's products in-store.
However, PING's limitation on online sales has ultimately resulted in a £1.45 million fine, issued by the Competition and Markets Authority, which stated PING's commercial aim of custom fitting was not wrong in principle, but there were less restrictive ways in which it could have been achieved.
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