Kids clothing group hit with $40,000 fine for illegally inflating prices

Kids clothing and accessories group Oobi Baby has been fined $40,000 by the Federal Court for illegally inflating the retail costs of products it distributes to internet retailers.

Kids clothing and accessories group Oobi Baby has been fined $40,000 by the Federal Court for illegally inflating the retail costs of products it distributes to internet retailers.

The group admitted that it made it known that it would not supply certain internet retailers if they offered a discount on Oobi’s products and then refused to provide retailers with products that had offered such a discount.

The company also admitted it attempted to induce its internet retailers to raise their prices to prices specified by Oobi and offered agreements to internet retailers on the condition they would sell Oobi products at a specific price.

Oobi’s owner and director Alexandra Riggs admitted being party to the company’s actions, although the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which started the court action against Oobi Baby on 16 July this year, acknowledged Riggs was unaware of the illegality of her actions.

But ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel says Oobi Baby’s case needs to serve as a reminder to companies that ignorance of the law is no excuse for illegal trading.

“The internet has given many more people the opportunity to get into business, but they have to realise that all the same laws apply online,” Samuel says.

“Spending a few minutes checking out the publications on the ACCC website or discussing an issue with the ACCC Infocentre can save them a lot of time and money later on.”

The court ordered Oobi to release a corrective notice on its website and write to all its retail customers informing them of their misconduct.

The court also made injunctions against Oobi and Riggs to prevent further misconduct and ordered her to attend trade practices law compliance training.

Oobi will also contribute $10,000 to the ACCC’s legal costs.

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