Suppliers force online stores to keep prices high: consumers authority
Suppliers force web stores to charge minimum prices for their products, refusing to deliver to stores who sell their products for lower prices. While this is not allowed, the practice is common, the Dutch authority for consumers and markets ACM said to NOS.
According to the sector organization for online stores, Thuiswinkel.org, this problem is not limited to online retailers, but also happens in other sectors "We hear stories like this more often, for example in electronics, in fashion, cycling, you name it", Wijnand Jongen from the organization said to the broadcaster. "Wherever there are major manufacturers that control the market, these things happen."
Jongen called it "not of this time" for suppliers to force this type of agreement on retailers. "It really has to stop. It is not good for online stores, but above all for consumers. They don't get the best price that is possible."
The ACM is currently investigating one specific case, and call on more online retailers to come forward if their suppliers are forcing them to charge certain prices. Though proving that a supplier is abusing its power can be difficult. The ACM calls on online stores to save all emails and other documents that can prove this.
The fine for abusing power can be up to 10 percent of the suppliers' turnover.