Fisher & Paykel Retail Pricing Investigation Ends
Jun 14, 2005
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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) consumer regulator announced that it has concluded its investigation into New Zealand-based appliance maker Fisher & Paykel Appliances Holdings and its involvement in the retail pricing of its products.

The ACCC said it had been looking closely to determine whether Fisher & Paykel was involved in discouraging discounting of its products.

"The ACCC identified incidents of concerns as to the way in which some Fisher & Paykel senior and other sales staff have communicated to retailers about retail prices," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said. "We were looking closely at the company to determine if there was a practice of discouraging retailers from discounting Fisher & Paykel products."

Mr. Samuel said that the appliance maker assisted the ACCC in its investigation and conducted an internal review of its process.

Since the investigation, Fisher & Paykel has prepared a guide for its sales staff, is conducting trade practices law training, and has written all retailers confirming that they are free to set their own retail prices.

The concerns that have been addressed focus on obligations of both manufacturers and retailers under the Trade Practices Act 1974 in relation to the setting of prices, according to Mr. Samuel.

"Whilst discussions between retailers and manufacturers about wholesale and retail prices are an every day fact of life, manufacturers cannot dictate the retail price of their products," he said.

"It is not an appropriate practice for manufacturers to intervene on behalf of any particular retailer who is attempting to prevent others from discounting," Mr. Samuel said. "To do so paces both the retailer and manufacturers at risk of breaching the Trade Practices Act." (Australian Associated Press)

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