Fender Acoustasonic Jazzmaster

Germany fines Yamaha, Thomann, Fender for price fixing: total cost €21m / $25m

In another pro audio price fixing  scandal, Yamaha Music Europe, Roland Germany and Fender Musical Instruments have been fined by the German government alongside retailers Thomann, Burgbrach and Music Store.

The fines relate to a four year time period from 2014 to 2018.

Roland was previously been fined by the UK government earlier this year. Korg faced a similar issue the year before.

An official statement says 

“The Bundeskartellamt has imposed fines totalling approx. 21 million euros on three manufacturers and two retailers of musical instruments and on staff responsible. The manufacturers and retailers are accused of resale price maintenance and the retailers also of agreeing on horizontal price-fixing in several cases”.

Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt“For years manufacturers and retailers of musical instruments have systematically endeavoured to restrict price competition for the end consumer. The manufacturers asked at least the leading specialist retailers Thomann and Music Store not to undercut fixed minimum sales prices, which they did in many cases. In addition, in individual cases the retailers agreed among one another on price increases for individual products. With the fines it has imposed the Bundeskartellamt is sending a clear signal not just to the companies concerned but also to the entire musical instrument sector that violations of the prohibition of resale price maintenance and price-fixing agreements will not be tolerated.