Fender, Yamaha, Korg, Roland and Casio facing class-action lawsuit for price fixing

The CMA says that “the goal is to keep prices artificially high, so consumers are then robbed of a fair deal.”

Instrument manufacturers Fender, Yamaha, Korg, Roland and Casio are facing a class-action lawsuit due to 2019 and 2020 rulings by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that found they had engaged in price fixing.

Resale Price Maintenance (RPM), or vertical price fixing, is defined by the CMA as when “a supplier requires a retailer not to sell below a certain price,” and explains that “the goal is to keep prices artificially high, so consumers are then robbed of a fair deal.”

The claims have been launched by legal firm Pogust Goodhead and consumer rights campaigner Elisabetta Sciallis, according to Guitar World. The action occurs in an effort to gain compensation for customers who bought instruments from the named manufacturers during specific timeframes.

Any UK customer who purchased instruments or accessories from the following companies between the dates below is automatically enrolled in the relevant class action claim. These dates and manufacturers are as follows:

  • Fender: 2013-2019
  • Yamaha: 2013-2018
  • Roland: 2011-2019
  • Korg: 2015-2019
  • Casio: 2015-2019

During the dates affected, Yamaha’s brands also included Line 6 and Ampeg, while Roland has ownership of Boss, and Korg owns Vox and Takamine.

Similarly, a class action lawsuit was also previously launched against Fender back in 2022 in regards to a 2020 ruling from the CMA which found the brand had engaged in price fixing. It was ordered to pay a fine of £4.5 million.

In 2020, the CMA also ruled that Roland, Korg and Yamaha had engaged in price fixing in the UK market, and issued fines of over £4 million to Roland and £1.5 million to Korg. Yamaha was granted immunity from these fines, but not the class action, after cooperating with the investigation. Casio was fined £3.7 million in 2019.

Guitar.com has reached out to all five manufacturers regarding the new class-action lawsuit for comment.

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