Feeds

ACCC spikes gadget price-fix

Australian regulator rebuffs retailers' request over competition concerns

New hybrid storage solutions

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC
And ISPs should nab 'em on our behalf
Former Bitcoin Foundation chair pleads guilty to money-laundering charge
Charlie Shrem plea deal could still get him five YEARS in chokey
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.