22/10/19 – The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has made a provisional finding that Fender Musical Instruments Europe Limited operated a policy between 2013 and 2018 which required online retailers to resell Fender’s guitars at or above a minimum price. This practice constitutes illegal resale price maintenance (RPM) under:
- The Chapter I prohibition of the Competition Act 1998, covering anti-competitive agreements, concerted practices and decisions by associations of undertakings which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the UK or a part of it and which may affect trade within the UK or a part of it.
- Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which prohibits anti-competitive agreements, concerted practices and decisions by associations of undertakings which may affect trade between EU member states.
The CMA’s findings are provisional, and no final decision will be made as to whether there has been a breach of competition law until the CMA has considered any representations from Fender.
In August 2019 the CMA issued a £3.7 million fine to Casio for illegal RPM in relation to online sales of digital keyboards and pianos.