Author Topic: Price fixing  (Read 731 times)

Price fixing
« on: July 01, 2020, 12:12:40 pm »
It seems the UK gov has cracked down on musical instruments price fixing.

Quote
Synthesiser manufacturers Roland and Korg have been fined a total of £5.5million for breaking competition law.

Keyboard-maker Casio and guitar firm Fender were also recently fined £3.7million and £4.5million respectively.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/musical-instrument-firms-to-pay-millions-after-breaking-competition-law

https://www.gov.uk/government/case-studies/45-million-fine-for-fender-for-illegally-preventing-online-price-discounts

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/restricting-resale-prices-an-open-letter-to-suppliers-and-retailers-in-the-musical-instruments-sector

Maybe next should be the cycle industry (Brompton etc)?

Re: Price fixing
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2020, 11:49:29 pm »
Much though Brompton's aggressive price maintenance annoys me, it's all legal and above board, isn't it? Price fixing would be if they got together with Tern and Dahon to ensure nobody sold folders below a certain price.

Pedal Castro

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Re: Price fixing
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2020, 07:10:47 am »
It seems the UK gov has cracked down on musical instruments price fixing.

Sounds like a racket to me!  ;D

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Price fixing
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2020, 12:26:21 pm »
Much though Brompton's aggressive price maintenance annoys me, it's all legal and above board, isn't it? Price fixing would be if they got together with Tern and Dahon to ensure nobody sold folders below a certain price.
Not necessarily. "Resale price maintenance" can be illegal and anti-competitive. ie if they supplier tells the shop they can't sell below a certain price. It is reducing competition between retailers. Doesn't have to be any other suppliers involved. That is what Fender were fined for.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/resale-price-maintenance-advice-for-retailers/resale-price-maintenance-advice-for-retailers

Mr Larrington

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Re: Price fixing
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2020, 12:42:48 pm »
It seems the UK gov has cracked down on musical instruments price fixing.

Sounds like a racket to me!  ;D

Surely that would fixing the price of tennis bats?

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Re: Price fixing
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2020, 12:49:19 pm »
AIUI Brompton simply refuse to supply any retailer (e.g. Spa) who offers significant discounts.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: Price fixing
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2020, 04:10:02 pm »
Much though Brompton's aggressive price maintenance annoys me, it's all legal and above board, isn't it? Price fixing would be if they got together with Tern and Dahon to ensure nobody sold folders below a certain price.
Not necessarily. "Resale price maintenance" can be illegal and anti-competitive. ie if they supplier tells the shop they can't sell below a certain price. It is reducing competition between retailers. Doesn't have to be any other suppliers involved. That is what Fender were fined for.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/resale-price-maintenance-advice-for-retailers/resale-price-maintenance-advice-for-retailers

Interesting; RZ's point fits with what I've heard elsewhere about Brompton, which at first sight would then appear to be RPM...

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Price fixing
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2020, 04:48:01 pm »
I believe that Brompton do not stop retailers selling Bromptons at below recommended retail price but reserve the right to decline orders from bike shops if their production is fully committed. Since all Bromptons are built to order and their backlog varies from several weeks to a few months, they are always justifiably able to decline orders that they do not want to fulfil.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Price fixing
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2020, 04:59:43 pm »
Sounds similar to what Casio were fined for. https://www.gov.uk/government/case-studies/why-we-fined-casio-37-million-for-breaking-competition-law
Quote
The fear of sanctions from Casio was a clear deterrent for resellers not to drop their prices. In one exchange, a reseller specifically referred to this and asked for Casio’s blessing to set their own prices, saying:

    can you please urgently give us your assurance that we can now compete in the market place, particularly at this time of the year, without:

    a. The threat of having our trading terms being changed for the marketing support column price to the standard trade column price and

    b. Casio conveniently running out of stock in response to any orders we place.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Price fixing
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2020, 05:03:28 pm »
Brompton never hold stock of completed bikes, so there is no differential treatment of retailers. I believe this is a significant point but I am not a lawyer. They seem to have found a strategy that works for them.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

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Re: Price fixing
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2020, 10:42:47 pm »
I believe that Brompton do not stop retailers selling Bromptons at below recommended retail price but reserve the right to decline orders from bike shops if their production is fully committed. Since all Bromptons are built to order and their backlog varies from several weeks to a few months, they are always justifiably able to decline orders that they do not want to fulfil.

They're increasingly ignoring bike shops and deliberately making their existing dealers wait at least 8 weeks for delivery, as they can make more money selling direct and send them out to the consumer within a week.
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Re: Price fixing
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2020, 08:13:39 am »
It seems the UK gov has cracked down on musical instruments price fixing.

Sounds like a racket to me!  ;D

A fiddle, shirley?
Sic transit and all that..

Re: Price fixing
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2020, 09:34:17 am »
It seems the UK gov has cracked down on musical instruments price fixing.

Sounds like a racket to me!  ;D

A fiddle, shirley?
They’ve obviously not needed to drum up extra business.
Sorting my life out, one shed at a time.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Price fixing
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2020, 09:37:18 am »
I believe that Brompton do not stop retailers selling Bromptons at below recommended retail price but reserve the right to decline orders from bike shops if their production is fully committed. Since all Bromptons are built to order and their backlog varies from several weeks to a few months, they are always justifiably able to decline orders that they do not want to fulfil.

They're increasingly ignoring bike shops and deliberately making their existing dealers wait at least 8 weeks for delivery, as they can make more money selling direct and send them out to the consumer within a week.

True. Brompton seem to be progressively burning the goodwill of their retailers, save for the few dealers authorised to perform major service tasks.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...