US business Columbia Sportswear and Italian subsidiary OutDry Technologies have complained to the European Union about alleged violation of competition laws by W L Gore & Associates.

Specifically, the complaint to the EU Commission alleges that W L Gore has violated EU competition laws by abusing its “dominant position” in the market for waterproof, breathable membranes for footwear and gloves.

Columbia and OutDry also welcomed news that the US Federal Trade Commission had subpoenaed Gore in connection with its own investigation into whether the company had “engaged in unfair methods of competition ‘by contracts, exclusionary practices or other conduct related to waterproof or waterproof and breathable membranes or technologies and related products’”.

“Columbia and OutDry Technologies have long been concerned that W L Gore & Associates’ commercial practices systematically prevent consumers, brand owners and manufacturers from gaining access to competing product innovations in waterproof breathable footwear and gloves,” said Peter Bragdon, Columbia Sportswear’s senior vice president of legal and corporate affairs.

“We believe W L Gore’s exclusionary conduct has deprived outdoor enthusiasts across the European Union, the United States and other regions throughout the world from learning about, experiencing and benefiting from new and innovative products.”

Spokespeople for W L Gore were unavailable to comment on the complaint when contacted by just-style.