Switzerland: Piano dealers fined for price fixing

Two piano dealers in Switzerland have been fined more than half a million francs for fixing prices on famous brands, the Swiss competition commission said on Thursday.

Musik Hug AG and AKHZ Management  together face penalties of 518,000 francs for agreeing to illegally fix prices and discounts on upright and grand pianos made by Steinway & Sons and Grotrian-Steinweg, Comco said.

The two dealers coordinated their prices in an “unacceptable manner” along with another Swiss dealer, La Bottega del Pianoforte, which escaped fines because it admitted its behaviour to authorities, the commission said in a news release.

The piano makers Steinway and Grotrian-Steinweg did not themselves set minimum or fixed prices but they supported the price fixing arrangements by printing price lists agreed to by the dealers, the release said.

The manufacturers have pledged to Swiss authorities to refrain from such behaviour in the future, Comco said.

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