Alhambra’s conduct Decision FCO’s accomplishments adjoin bulk fixing
Under burden from the Federal Cartel Office (FCO), guitar architect Alhambra has distanced itself from influencing the affairs prices of wholesalers and distributors.
The FCO advised Alhambra on the suspicion that it had:
Alhambra had distanced itself beneath burden from the FCO. In August 2020 the guitar architect reacted to this by handing out an adapted bulk account to German distributors, which for the aboriginal time showed non-binding recommended retail prices (RRPs) that were apprehensible to consumers. The aggregation additionally antiseptic in a annular letter that appraisement is the distributor’s albatross and that Alhambra will not access this.
The case was after bankrupt after the artifice of a fine.
FCO’s accomplishments adjoin bulk fixing
The FCO has been alive in the acreage of bulk acclimation in contempo years. For example, it has set austere standards back companies accept activated RRPs. Further, in 2017 the FCO appear a advice cardboard on the affair and the Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court afresh disqualified on the accountable (for added capacity amuse see “Resale bulk maintenance? Not every altercation on reseller’s appraisement is illegal”).
Some of the FCO’s contempo cases apropos bulk acclimation are as follows.
Price acclimation for bicycles (February 2019)On 29 January 2019 the FCO imposed a accomplished totalling about €13.4 actor on bike banker ZEG Zweirad-Einkaufs-Genossenschaft eG (ZEG), Cologne, and those amenable for the bulk fixing.(1) According to the FCO’s findings, ZEG had agreed with 47 bike retailers that the minimum affairs prices set by ZEG could not be undercut. ZEG monitored the acquiescence with this restriction.
Price acclimation in the accouterment area (July 2017)In 2017 the FCO imposed fines of about €10.9 actor on architect Wellensteyn and trading aggregation Peek & Cloppenburg Düsseldorf.(2) The accusation was that Wellensteyn had activated the RRPs in Germany, abnormally for alfresco jackets by:
Price acclimation in the appliance area (January 2017)On 12 January 2017 the FCO imposed fines totalling €4.43 actor on the bristles manufacturers aeris GmbH, hülsta-werke Hüls GmbH & Co KG, Kettler GmbH, Rolf Benz AG & Co KG and Zebra Nord GmbH, as able-bodied as four amenable managers.(3) According to the FCO’s findings, the manufacturers had exerted disproportionate burden on cheaper distributors, decidedly by aggressive and in some cases administration commitment blocks. In some cases, aggressive distributors additionally monitored acquiescence with the minimum prices by appointment letters of ‘deviators’ and allurement the manufacturers to ensure that the bulk akin was maintained.
Price acclimation in the aliment barter (December 2016)In December 2016 the FCO imposed fines totalling €18.3 actor on several aliment merchants, including Edeka, in the alleged ‘vertical case’.(4) Between 2006 and 2009, the companies were complex in agreements on the appraisement of beer. In May 2016 11 companies complex in the aliment barter were fined because of vertical agreements amounting €112 million. The vertical case included confectionery, coffee, beastly food, beer and claimed affliction products. In total, 38 alone fines were imposed on 27 companies with a absolute aggregate of €260.5 million. The action began in 2010 with investigations.
Price acclimation of LEGO highlights (January 2016)In January 2016 the FCO imposed a accomplished of €130,000 on LEGO GmbH for vertical bulk control.(5) LEGO had apprenticed retailers to accession the end-customer prices of the alleged ‘highlight articles’. LEGO threatened to abolish the accumulation and based the bulk of bulk reductions on the acquiescence with the recommendations. The retailers and the accessories were recorded in lists for monitoring.
Vertical bulk acclimation in the mattress case (October 2015)The FCO imposed fines adjoin Recticel Schlafkomfort GmbH and Metzeler Schaum GmbH because of banned bulk acclimation of their retailers.(6) Recticel had to pay €8.2 actor (August 2014) and Metzeler €3.38 actor (February 2015). The affairs were assured in October 2015 with the artifice of a accomplished of €15.5 actor adjoin Tempur Deutschland GmbH.
Retail bulk aliment and ‘street prices’ (May 2015)In May 2015 United Aeronautics GmbH was fined €300,000.(7) Over a five-year period, the aggregation had agreed with its retailers (especially online retailers) that they would not attenuate the RRPs for carriageable aeronautics devices. If the bulk akin was not complied with, the retailers were requested to accomplish a ‘street price’, which was assured in accession to the RRP, and threatened with the abortion of accumulation or acknowledged steps.
Vertical bulk acclimation in the cosmetics area (July 2013)In July 2013 the FCO imposed a accomplished of €6.5 actor adjoin WALA Heilmittel GmbH.(8) According to the FCO’s allegation, the aggregation had activated burden on its retailers and concluded the accumulation if the assigned non-binding RRPs were not complied with.
Enforcement of recommended resale prices (August 2012)In August 2012 TTS Tooltechnik was fined €8.3 million.(9) According to the FCO’s findings, TTS Tooltechnik had accepted retailers to accede with its prices and threatened to aggravate the accumulation altitude or abolish accumulation if they bootless to comply.
Kick-back rebates (June 2010)According to the FCO’s allegation, Garmin had offered appropriate rebates to resellers that broadcast Garmin aeronautics accessories at decidedly low prices over the Internet, in adjustment not to attenuate the RRPs.(10) Therefore, in June 2010 the FCO imposed a accomplished of €2.5 million.
Monitoring (September 2009)The FCO captivated that acquaintance lenses architect CIBA had maintained a arrangement that enabled it to adviser resellers’ internet prices.(11) In case of abnormal prices, the accordant resellers were contacted and asked to accession their prices. The FCO imposed a accomplished of €11.5 million.
Agreements on resale prices (April 2009)In April 2009 the FCO fined Microsoft €9 million.(12) According to the FCO’s findings, Microsoft had anchored the resale bulk of a software amalgamation for assertive resellers.
Price advocacy (2009)In 2009 arch manufacturers and suppliers of comedy lenses provided opticians with bulk recommendations which included the opticians’ crafting services.(13) Most opticians empiric these prices, finer axis them into minimum prices. Due to burden exerted by the FCO, the manufacturers accept now refrained from arising RRP lists. Due to the agreement, the FCO imposed no fines.
For added advice on this affair amuse acquaintance Sascha Dethof at Fieldfisher (Germany) LLP by blast ( 49 211 950 749 0) or email ([email protected]). The Fieldfisher (Germany) LLP website can be accessed at www.fieldfisher.com.
(1) For added advice amuse see “Bußgeld gegen Einkaufsgemeinschaft ZEG wegen Preisbindung” and the FCO’s columnist absolution (29 January 2019).
(2) For added advice amuse see “Bundeskartellamt: Bußgelder wegen Preisbindung”, the FCO’s columnist absolution (25 July 2017) and the FCO’s case address (8 August 2017).
(3) For added advice amuse see “The German Competition Authority imposed afresh fines for resale bulk maintenance” and the FCO’s columnist absolution (12 January 2017).
(4) For added advice amuse see the FCO’s columnist releases of 15 December 2016, 9 May 2016 and 18 June 2015.
(5) For added advice amuse see the FCO’s columnist absolution of 12 January 2016.
(6) For added advice amuse see the FCO’s columnist absolution of 22 October 2015.
(7) For added advice amuse see the FCO’s columnist absolution of 12 May 2015.
(8) For added advice amuse see the FCO’s columnist absolution of 31 July 2013.
(9) For added advice amuse see the FCO’s columnist absolution of 20 August 2012.
(10) For added advice amuse see the FCO’s case address of June 2010.
(11) For added advice amuse see the FCO’s columnist absolution of 25 September 2009.
(12) For added advice amuse see the FCO’s columnist absolution of 8 April 2009.
(13) For added advice amuse see the FCO’s columnist absolution of 25 March 2009.
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