The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued Statements of Objections to Roland UK and Korg UK, provisionally deciding that both companies operated policies restricting online price competition.
The CMA says that Roland required its electronic drum kits to be sold at or above a minimum price between January 2011 and April 2018, and that Korg did the same for synthesizers and DJ production tools, from June 2015 to April 2018. Resale Price Maintenance – requiring retailers to maintain a minimum price – is illegal in the UK.
The CMA’s investigations into Roland and Korg follow recent fines issued to Casio and Fender.
“When someone at the top of the chain insists on setting a minimum price online, customers lose out,” states Ann Pope, CMA Senior Director of Antitrust. “Online selling should offer people more choice and the chance to benefit from competition – but this practice means that people can’t find lower prices when they shop around, which is one of the major advantages of internet shopping.”
The CMA categorizes their findings as ‘provisional’, which means that no final decision has been made about whether there has been a breach of competition law. The CMA says that it will consider each company’s representations before reaching a final decision.