The European Commission has launched investigations into alleged price manipulation by ASUS, Denon & Marantz, Philips, and Pioneer. A press release about the investigations explains the companies are accused of keeping online European retailers from setting their own prices.
E-commerce should give consumers a wider choice of goods and services, as well as the opportunity to make purchases across borders. The three investigations we have opened today focus on practices where we suspect companies are trying to deny these benefits for consumers. The cases concern the consumer electronics, video games and hotel accommodation sectors. More specifically, we are looking into whether these companies are breaking EU competition rules by unfairly restricting retail prices or by excluding customers from certain offers because of their nationality or location.
– Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner
By manipulating prices at retailers, ASUS and others may have fixed prices around the market since many online stores use software to match their prices to competitors.