Electronics brand Panasonic has been warned by the Commerce Commission following allegations of engagement in resale price maintenance.
An investigation led by the competition watchdog found that Panasonic had likely enforced a minimum price on the resale value of certain goods.
The commission said Pansonic withheld supply of TVs to two retailers – and in another case sold sets at less favourable prices to a retailer – because the retailers offered the sets at prices less than that specified by Panasonic.
Anna Rawlings, Commerce Commission chair, said retail price maintenance can reduce competition and lead to consumers paying higher prices for goods.
“It is important that all businesses operating in the manufacturing and retail sectors understand what they need to do to comply with the law which prohibits suppliers from enforcing a minimum price for the resale of their goods.”
An open letter has been issued to businesses operating in the wholesale and retail markets stressing that retail price maintenance is illegal.
A fact sheet guidance also recommends that suppliers should not dictate or fix a minimum price at which their products can be sold by retailers or influence a retailer’s ability to advertise lower prices in some channels.