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ACM warns suppliers that restrict the freedom of retailers to set their own retail prices

Over the past several months, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has warned various suppliers that they may have exercised undue influence over the retail prices of their products that retailers sell. This concerns suppliers of smart sports devices, food supplements, and portable television receivers. These suppliers are taking ACM’s warning very seriously: internal investigations have been launched, compliance courses have been updated, and agreements have been reviewed. ACM continues to keeps a close watch on several companies to see if they comply with the rules. Companies risk a fine of up to 900,000 euros or 10 percent of their turnover if they do not comply with the rules.

Recommended retail prices for retailers must be non-binding

Suppliers must leave retailers free to set their retail prices themselves. That is why suppliers are only allowed to give retailers non-binding recommendations regarding retail prices. In this way, retailers are able to compete fairly with each other, and consumers pay the best price for the products offered. It is therefore prohibited for suppliers to exert undue influence over the retail prices of retailers.

In order to offer suppliers and retailers guidance, ACM has created a checklist (in Dutch) for recommended retail prices. Suppliers can use this checklist to see whether they comply with the rules. Retailers can check whether their supplier exerts undue influence over the retail prices in online stores and/or brick-and-mortar stores.

Report illegal arrangements to ACM

Do you suspect suppliers exerting undue influence over retail prices? Help us by filing a report.

See also