The keyboard and electric drum kit makers Roland and Korg have been fined a combined total of £5.5 million (US$6.7 million), as part of the UK competition watchdog’s cracks-down on price fixing across the musical instrument industry, reported the Guardian.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) stated the companies had breached competition rules by restricting online discounting of their musical instruments. The practice, known as “resale price maintenance,” forced retailers to sell instruments at or above a minimum price.
The watchdog stated Roland restricted pricing of its electronic drum kits and accessories between January 2011 and April 2018, while Korg did the same for its hi-tech music equipment and synthesisers between June 2015 and April 2018.
Similar breaches resulted in a £4.5 million (US$5.5 million) fine against the guitar maker Fender in January, months after Casio was hit with a £3.7 million (US$4.5 million) penalty for the price fixing of keyboards and digital pianos last August.
The Roland and Korg cases mark the end of five separate investigations by the CMA covering major players in the sector, and bring the total fines to £13.7 million (US$16.8 million).
The watchdog has written to nearly 70 manufacturers and retailers across the sector warning them about their conduct. It has also issued an open letter to the industry, urging businesses to obey the law, “given the prevalence” of this kind of price fixing.
Full Content: The Guardian
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