Valiant Enterprises Pty Ltd, a distributor of baby products to retailers nationwide, has acknowledged that it engaged in resale price maintenance in court-enforceable undertakings provided to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Resale price maintenance, which is prohibited by section 48 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, occurs when suppliers prevent, or attempt to prevent, independent retailers or distributors from advertising or selling products below a specified price.
In July 2011, Valiant Enterprises attempted to induce an online retailer not to advertise the AngelCare AC1100 baby monitor for sale at a price less than that specified by Valiant Enterprises, including by suggesting that stock may be withheld from the retailer.
“Businesses must be free to set their own prices for the products they sell.” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“This freedom encourages competition in the marketplace and benefits consumers who shop around for the best price. The ACCC will continue to pursue suppliers who attempt to pressure businesses in this manner.”
The ACCC has accepted court-enforceable undertakings. Valiant Enterprises has undertaken that it will:
- not engage in resale price maintenance;
- write to all retailer clients who purchased products in the 2011/2012 financial year advising them of the ACCC’s concerns and informing them they are free to set the minimum price at which they advertise or sell their products;
- place a corrective notice on its website; and
- implement a compliance program.
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