Anti-competitive behaviour by our competitors



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  • Explain why IBN has a policy of challenging anti-competitive behaviour by our primary competitor, and why such behaviour has no legal grounds. 

Since the 2002 class action where UCC (GS1) settled out of court in favour of its complainant members, multiple companies have been selling and reselling the relict UCC barcodes within the US and worldwide. These include members of the IBN.


GS1 organisations in various countries are highly proactive in trying to restrict these barcode sales, continuously working to reduce credibility and to encourage, scare or force manufacturers into becoming GS1 members.

These actions typically manifest as anti-competitive measures by companies that use market-dominant positions to influence the market.

They often convince barcode users to adopt a policy of not stocking any products that use non-GS1 licensed barcodes.

Example of anti-competitive behaviour:
They will imply to their barcode buyers that there is no assurance that non-GS1 barcodes have not been assigned to other products worldwide (i.e. they imply that “Only GS1 barcodes are reliable”).

This policy is inaccurate and misinformed as the barcodes provided by IBN are completely valid, legal and functional.

They were purchased legitimately in the United States from the Uniform Code Council (UCC) (now GS1!), prior to 2002 by valid UCC members.
i.e. they were purchased historically by GS1 members from GS1, and GS1 now tries to discredit them and their resellers.

These barcodes are now purchased by IBN and resold by IBN members in different countries.

IBN even provides a legally enforceable guarantee that our barcodes are unique and have not been used on another product.

The behaviour of refusing to stock products that utilise our IBN barcodes could be construed as tortious interference and could be subject to legal action against GS1 or its associated companies.

Due to continued incidents, IBN has a policy of aggressively challenging anti-competitive behaviour by GS1 associates.
To date GS1 has not attempted to legally address their implied claims against us because it would not be possible to do so.