ACCC to prosecute Navman executives over price fixing

By James Wells

SYDNEY: The former general manager and current national sales manager of Navman Australia are being prosecuted by the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) following allegations of resale price maintenance otherwise known as price fixing.

The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Navman Australia Pty Limited, former general manager of Navman, Christopher Baird and current Australasian sales manager of Navman, David King, alleging resale price maintenance in the supply of Navman marine, in-car and personal navigation products.

The ACCC has alleged in the Federal Court that Navman breached section 48 of the Trade Practices Act.

According to the ACCC, the breaches involve: inducing or attempting to induce Navman dealers not to sell Navman products below a price specified by Navman; attempting to induce a distributor of Navman products to ensure that the distributor’s retailers did not sell Navman products below specified prices; entering into an agreement with a Navman dealer for the supply of Navman products, one of the terms of which was that the dealer would not sell Navman products below prices specified by Navman; withholding supply of Navman products for reasons including the substantial reason that the retailer had sold the products below prices specified by Navman, and stating to its Navman dealers prices which were likely to be understood by them as prices below which Navman products were not to be sold.

“The ACCC alleges that Mr Baird and Mr King directed and participated in contravening conduct of Navman,” an ACCC statement said.

The ACCC is seeking court orders including declarations that Navman breached section 48 of the Act and that Mr Baird and Mr King were knowingly concerned in particular contraventions by the company.

The ACCC is also seeking injunctions restraining Navman, Mr Baird and Mr King from engaging in the alleged conduct pecuniary penalties against Navman, Mr Baird and Mr King, and costs.

This matter is listed for hearing before Justice Jacobson at 9.30 a.m. on 8 February 2007 in the Federal Court, Sydney.

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