Teac accused of price fixing by ACCC

By James Wells

MELBOURNE: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has instituted legal proceedings in the Federal Court, Melbourne, against Teac Australia Pty Ltd alleging the company engaged in resale price maintenance in relation to a range of Teac branded electronic goods including televisions, digital set-top boxes and portable music devices.

The ACCC is alleging that Teac contravened section 48 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 by attempting to induce and inducing a certain retailer not to advertise certain Teac products below the ‘go price’ specified by Teac.

The ACCC has also instituted proceedings against Warren Allison, the national sales manager of Teac. The ACCC alleges that Allison was knowingly concerned in the alleged contraventions by Teac.

The ACCC is seeking:

-Declarations that Teac contravened section 48 of the Act and that Mr Allison was knowingly concerned in the alleged contraventions by the company.

-Injunctions restraining Teac and Mr Allison from engaging in similar conduct in the future.

-Pecuniary penalties against Teac and Mr Allison.

-An order that Teac  implements a trade practices compliance program.

-An order that Teac write to its customers to inform them of Teac’s resale price maintenance conduct, and costs.

The matter has been listed for a directions hearing in the Federal Court, Melbourne, on 23 July before Justice Kenny.

The ACCC recently convicted another set top box manufacturer, Topfield, of similar price-fixing charges and fined the company $297,500. The owner of the brand’s Australian distributor, Jai Kemp, was also personally fined over $17,000 for his involvement in the misdemeanor.

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