The ACCC has accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from wholesale lighting and electrical supplier, Brilliant Lighting (Aust) Pty Ltd in which it has admitted that it engaged in resale price maintenance and committed to sending corrective notices to retailers and distributors.
In late September 2022, Brilliant Lighting wrote to 42 retailers and distributors attaching a price list for 116 Brilliant Lighting products. Brilliant Lighting informed them that they should not display headline prices on their websites below certain prices.
It informed retailers and distributors the right to distribute its products was based on adhering to these prices.
Under Australian competition law, it is illegal for suppliers to prevent, or attempt to prevent, resellers from advertising or selling goods or services below a specified minimum price. This conduct is known as resale price maintenance.
“Resale price maintenance is illegal because it can stop retailers from competing on price, which means consumers pay more for goods and services. This is particularly problematic at a time when many Australians are facing increased cost of living pressures,” ACCC Acting Chair Mick Keogh said.
“Businesses need to be aware that the ACCC takes resale price maintenance very seriously. Suppliers cannot maintain price premiums by setting minimum prices. Nor should they bow to pressure from resellers to impose minimum prices on competing resellers, particularly, those with lower-cost online business models.”
In the court enforceable undertaking accepted by the ACCC, Brilliant Lighting has committed to sending corrective notices to all affected retailers and distributors, establishing a compliance program, and not to enforce minimum resale prices.
A copy of the undertaking is available at Brilliant Lighting (Aust) Pty Ltd.
Note to editors
Brilliant Lighting is a wholesale supplier of fans, lighting, and electrical products. It sells these products to a network of at least 1,439 retailers and distributors.
Resale price maintenance is strictly prohibited by Australia’s competition laws. It occurs when suppliers:
- make it known they will not supply goods or services unless a reseller agrees to advertise or sell at a price below a specified minimum price;
- induce, or attempt to induce, resellers not to advertise or sell below a specified minimum price;
- enter into agreements, or offer to enter into agreements, for the supply of goods or services on terms including that the reseller must not advertise or sell below a specified minimum price;
- withhold supply of goods or services because a reseller, or a purchaser from the reseller, has not agreed to not advertise or sell below a specified minimum price, or has advertised or sold (or is likely to sell) at a price below a specified minimum price;
- use, in relation to goods or services supplied or that may be supplied, a statement as to price which is likely to be understood as the price below which the goods or services are not to be sold.
Businesses may lodge a notification of resale price maintenance conduct with the ACCC or apply for ACCC authorisation of proposed resale price maintenance conduct, which will be permitted if the likely public benefit from the proposed conduct outweighs the likely detriment from that conduct.
More information about resale price maintenance can be found at Minimum resale prices.