Yamaha, Roland, Fender, Thomann and Music Store fined 21 million euros for price fixing


The German Federal Cartel Office fined three music brands and two retailers € 21 million for pricing. These are Yamaha, Roland, Fender, Thomann and Music Store.

The companies have been accused of “systematically” restricting price competition, agreeing to set minimum prices on goods in 13 cases between April 2014 and December 2018, the Cartel Office said. This is in line with EU competition rules which protect consumers against practices such as price fixing.

A declaration explained that when retailers lowered minimum selling prices, staff at Yamaha, Roland and Fender “repeatedly contacted Thomann and Music Store and asked those retailers to adjust their selling prices, which they also did in many cases “.

On several occasions, manufacturers have also threatened and imposed sanctions on retailers – such as a suspension of supply or a deterioration in terms and conditions.

In addition, Thomann and Music Store have agreed on price increases for individual products in several cases. Yamaha and Roland have also reportedly used price tracking software to monitor prices to end consumers.

“For years, manufacturers and retailers of musical instruments have systematically strived to restrict price competition for the end consumer,” said Andreas Mundt, President of the Cartel Office.

“With the fines he imposed on the Bundeskartellamt [German Cartel Office] sends a clear signal, not only to the companies concerned, but also to the entire musical instrument industry, that violations of the prohibition on resale price maintenance and price fixing agreements will not be tolerated.

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