Feeds

ACCC spikes gadget price-fix

Australian regulator rebuffs retailers' request over competition concerns

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Australia’s competition regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has politely declined a request by a retail buying group to set minimum prices on a bunch of electrical and electronic gadgets.

In a draft decision issued late last week (January 17), the watchdog told National Associated Retail Traders of Australia (NARTA) that its proposal to set a minimum advertising price on goods raised concerns at a lack of competition and higher consumer prices.

NARTA’s 32 members include names like JB Hi-Fi, Bing Lee, David Jones, Ted’s Cameras, VideoPro, and RetraVision, buying from vendors like Acer, Asus, Nikon, Canon, HP, Toshiba, Sony, Belkin and Logitech, as well as a slew of whitegoods and other appliance suppliers.

According to the ACCC’s announcement, the buying group had asked permission to set the minimum prices for Beko branded products that would include TVs, cameras, and various white goods.

The regulator noted that permitting a minimum advertised price would, in particular reduce scope for competition in online purchases, since “online retailers, which generally do not negotiate their selling prices down from the advertised price like bricks and mortar retailers might do”.

Even the request seems odd to The Register. Australia’s retailers have complained loudly, both to the media and to the government, that they are unable to compete with consumers parallel importing their purchases from cheaper international online retailers. It’s difficult to understand how a tacit agreement to keep prices high within Australia would revive their fortunes.

While the competition regulator has the legal scope to permit such arrangements, it states that permission is only given when it would be in consumers’ interest. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.