Power tool supplier Techtronic has been fined $15 million for resale price maintenance conduct in relation to Milwaukee branded products.
The penalties are the highest imposed for resale price maintenance in Australia, according to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Techtronic admitted it had entered into 97 agreements with retailers and dealers between January 2016 and July 2021. The deals restricted the sale of Milwaukee products below a specified minimum price.
The company also issued warnings to dealers who did not comply with the provisions of the agreements, as well as withheld supply from two dealers for this reason.
It is illegal for suppliers of goods to specify a minimum price below which a reseller must not supply, advertise, or display those goods for sale. The conduct is harmful to price competition, resulting in consumers paying a higher price than they would in a truly competitive market, said ACCC deputy chair Mick Keogh.
Aside from the fines, the Federal Court required Techtronic to post corrective notices on its website and to its dealers, as well as implement a compliance program.
Techtronic is the Australian subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Techtronic Industries, and a wholesale supplier of Milwaukee products nationally.