Roland has anti-competition fine increased to £5m after appealing

Roland has had its appeal against a £4m ($5.6m) fine dismissed by the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), resulting in a higher fine of £5m ($6.9m).

The music instrument maker was originally fined by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in June 2020 for restricting online discounting of its electronic drum kits between 2011 and 2018.

The fine imposed by the CMA had been reduced to take account of the fact that Roland had admitted acting illegally and cooperated with the CMA’s investigation.

However, Roland then appealed against the level of the fine that it had agreed to pay as part of its CMA settlement on the grounds that its conduct was not serious enough to justify such a high penalty.

The Tribunal dismissed Roland’s arguments and ruled that the musical instrument firm should lose the benefit of its 20% settlement discount, resulting in the higher fine.

Roland has been contacted for comment. The full details can be found on the UK Goverment site.

“This is an important judgment from the Tribunal and sends a strong message that when a company agrees to end an investigation through a settlement, it cannot reopen the question by appealing without losing its discount,” said Michael Grenfell, the CMA’s Executive Director of Enforcement. 

“This reinforces the CMA’s view that settlements should be final. The judgment also shows that conspiring to keep prices high by restricting discounting of products is a serious breach of competition law and can result in significant fines.”