Fender at centre of price fixing claim
Competition / July 2018

COMPETITION Musical instruments and technology   The world-famous guitar maker Fender and four leading keyboard manufacturers are at the centre of a price fixing investigation after “dawn raids” were carried out at their British offices by staff from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Although the companies have not been officially named, The Sunday Telegraph named the four companies as Yamaha, one of the biggest musical instrument manufacturers in the world, Roland, Korg and Casio. The CMA is investigating alleged anti-competitive agreements in the musical instruments and equipment sector under Chapter I CA98 and Article 101 TFEU. The CMA website states that five separate “initial investigations” have been launched into “suspected breaches of competition law by various parties”. It adds that inquiries “relate to alleged anti-competitive agreements and/or concerted practices in relation to musical instruments and equipment”, adding that it is focusing on “suspected anti-competitive agreements”. However, the CMA stresses that the investigations are “at an early stage and no assumptions should be made that competition law has been infringed”. The inquiry is thought to be focusing on whether any attempt has been made to manipulate sales of musical instruments and pro-audio equipment, the supply of stick and price fixing. It is understood 14…

Viagogo faces criminal action from FIFA

COMPETITION / CRIMINAL Live events sector   World Cup organisers FIFA have filed a criminal complaint in Switzerland against the ticket website Viagogo as part of a crackdown on unauthorised World Cup sales, the latest in a line of legal challenges to the company’s business practices. Last week, a UK government minister urged consumers to boycott Viagogo as National Trading Standards launched an investigation into allegations that it has persistently misled consumers, while the Competition and Markets Authority has separately threatened the company with court action.   Football’s governing body said it has received numerous complaints from individuals, consumer protection bodies and other market players about “opaque and deceptive” Viagogo. The criminal complaint filed on Monday with the public prosecutor’s office in Genevais based on a breach of the law on unfair competition against Viagogo   FIFA is reportedly looking to “prioritise the safety and security of fans and enforce a fair 2018 FIFA World Cup ticketing pricing scheme.” In a statement FIFA said: “FIFA regards the illicit sale and distribution of tickets as a serious issue and views the security implications of the unauthorised transfer and/or resale of tickets as being of paramount importance” “In light of the above, we encourage fans…