Optima engages in price fixing

Optima engages in price fixing

Optima has admitted to trying to engage several dealers in price fixing.

According to the ACCC, the Sydney-based assembler told two of its dealers they should stop discounting and raise their Optima computers prices to its recommended retail price. The pair were threatened with having their product supply cut off or their dealership cancelled.

The watchdog was alerted to the activities via a complaint and launched an investigation.

As a result of the findings, Optima has agreed not to engage in resale price maintenance for three years; implement a trade practices law compliance program; and conduct an audit process to determine whether other Optima dealers have been subjected to price maintenance.

It will also write to all dealers to advise them of the outcome of the investigation, of their freedom to set product prices and to warn them not to place pressure on other dealers who offer discounted prices on Optima products or seek action against them.

ACCC chairman, Graeme Samuel, said the increasingly competitive nature of the computer retail market made business and consumer freedom vital.

"The outcome of this matter should put the computer industry on notice that the ACCC takes seriously any attempts by suppliers to prevent discounting of their products, and will not hesitate to take action in appropriate circumstances," Samuel said in a statement.

Optima chairman and managing director, Cornel Ung, was not available for comment at the time of press.

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