On 24 September 2020 the Cartel Court, acting on the Austrian Federal Competition Authority’s (AFCA) application of 2 June 2020, found Roland Germany GmbH to have infringed competition law by entering into agreements on fixed or minimum sales prices for electronic musical instruments and related equipment and software throughout Austria over the period from January 2010 to April 2018.
The company had set the prices of electronic musical instruments and related equipment and software to be charged by musical instrument retailers for the purpose of maintaining certain price levels. The arranged prices were partly masked as non-binding price recommendations but retailers were required to regard them as binding.
A genuine non-binding price recommendation is one where the retailer is not bound by it or “asked” to use that fixed price.
The company is cooperating with the AFCA within the leniency programme. For this reason, the AFCA refrained from applying for the imposition of a fine.
The decision is final.
Economic sector concerned: electronic musical instruments
On 23 July 2020 the Cartel Court, in this case also acting on an AFCA application, had already found Yamaha guilty of fixing prices for musical instruments and, in some cases, for audio and video products as well as commercial audio products; Yamaha has also applied for leniency.