ACCC opposes major buying group’s minimum advertised pricing on electrical goods

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has signalled its opposition to proposed arrangements which would allow a major buying group to set minimum advertised prices on a wide range of electrical goods.

The consumer watchdog issued a draft decision today which proposes denying authorisation to Narta International for the minimum pricing.

Narta is a buying group for around 30 electrical goods retailers, including David Jones, JB Hi-Fi and Bing Lee.

Narta has proposed ensuring all of its members advertise the same price for particular new release, premium or BEKO branded products that would be available from Narta members, such as televisions, cameras, white goods, espresso machines and ovens.

“The ACCC has concerns that the ability for Narta to set a minimum advertising price on a broad range of electrical goods will reduce competition between retailers and result in higher prices for consumers,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement.

“This is particularly a concern for competition with online retailers, which generally do not negotiate their selling prices down from the advertised price like bricks-and-mortar retailers might do.”

The consumer watchdog is able to grant authorisations when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.

SmartCompany contacted Narta but the company’s category manager, Bob Stanley, said he was unable to comment.

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