An online retailer of kitchen appliances including Omniblend blenders, has been ordered to pay a pecuniary penalty of $17,500 for aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring overseas supplier, Taiwan Star International (TSI), to engage in resale price maintenance.
The Federal Court of Australia found that TSI sought to induce Omniblend’s competitor not to sell OmniBlend blenders at a price less than the price specified by TSI, and subsequently withheld the supply of OmniBlend Blenders to that competitor as a result of the conduct.
The Court further found that the conduct was likely to have caused some unquantified loss and damage to Omniblend’s competitor or to the market generally.
ACCC Commissioner, Sarah Court said “the prohibition of resale price maintenance is an important one, as this conduct can affect consumers by increasing prices, reducing consumer choice and distorting the competitive process.”
Resale price maintenance is prohibited by The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) and includes conduct such as pressuring businesses to charge a recommended price and preventing resellers from advertising or selling goods below a specified price.