The President of the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection stated that since 2004 Yamaha has been setting minimum prices at which their products were to be sold by distributors in online stores, which were calculated with the help of the logarithm. In addition, representatives of Yamaha Music Europe were setting minimum selling prices for particular products directly to online stores.
According to the President of the Office the conspiracy between Yamaha and their distributors led to a situation, in which consumers for 13 years overpaid for music equipment in the Internet. Yamaha not only imposed prices, but also monitored their application, intervening if any of their contractors tried to sell equipment cheaper. The distributors, pursuant to the agreements, could be punished by Yamaha Music Europe for trying to sell at lower prices, among other things, by losing previously granted privileges, e.g. preferential trade conditions. Also, the distributors themselves observed each other’s actions and informed Yamaha Music Europe, if one of them was selling products cheaper.
The final penalty for Yamaha Music Europe amounted to over half a million Zloty (about EUR 115,000.00). The decision is not final and can be appealed, but Yamaha decided to use the leniency program and cooperated with the President of the Office during the proceedings.
Olga Sztejnert-Roszak, IDI Country Expert for agency & distribution in Poland