The German anti-cartel office fined a total of €21 million to German subsidiaries of major musical instrument manufacturers for unlawful cartels aimed at limiting competition.
The German competition police announced on Thursday (August 4th) that he had imposed a heavy fine on three major musical instrument manufacturers and traders for having tuned their violins on prices.
German subsidiaries of three big names in the sector, the Japanese Yamaha and Roland and the American Fender, two musical instrument businesses, Thomann and Music Store, as well as employees in positions of responsibility, will have to pay a fine of about 21 million euros in total, said the Anti-Cartel Office.
Price monitoring and agreement
“Manufacturers and traders of musical instruments have systematically and for years acted in such a way as to limit price competition for final consumers,” Andreas Mundt, president of the office, was quoted as saying in a statement. “Manufacturers have at the very least encouraged the main Thomann and Music Store businesses not to sell below fixed minimum prices, which they have done in most cases,” he says.
Yamaha and Roland also both used sales price monitoring software to ensure that merchants met the agreed minimums. The investigation also revealed that the offending traders jointly fixed price increases on certain products between December 2014 and April 2018.
The fine imposed“sends a clear signal to the entire industry that price cartels are not tolerated”, the head of the office ruled. The investigation was opened in April 2018.
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