The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has fined Casio £3.7 million for breaking competition law by preventing online discounting for its digital pianos and keyboards.
Casio has admitted implementing a policy designed to restrict retailer freedom to set prices online, requiring digital pianos and keyboards to be sold at or above a minimum price. They also applied pressure to retailers if they fell below the specified minimum price given by Casio.
This kind of illegal practice, known as resale price maintenance (RPM), often means that customers miss out on the best possible prices because, even when they shop around, they find all retailers tend to be selling at around the same price.
The £3.7 million fine has been discounted to reflect the fact that the company admitted to the illegal behaviour and agreed to co-operate with the CMA.
The CMA has produced useful guidance for businesses about RPM.