Amazon.co.uk seller fined for price fixing

An Amazon seller has been fined £163,371 for colluding with a competitor to fix prices on Amazon.co.uk.

Trod Ltd. has admitted agreeing to fix prices with GB eye Ltd. (trading as ‘GB Posters’). They agreed that they would not undercut each other’s prices for posters and frames sold on Amazon’s UK website. The arrangement was in place between at least 24th March 2011 and 1 July 2015.

Trod received a 20% discount in the fine to reflect the administrative savings CMA will make because they have admitted to the deal and accepted the fine. GB eye will not receive a fine because they reported the cartel to the CMA and cooperated with the investigation.

Amazon has not been investigated because it played no part in the price fixing.

Stephen Blake, Senior Director and head of the CMA’s Cartels and Criminal Group, said:

“Online marketplaces such as Amazon allow sellers to sell their goods directly to consumers, who often benefit from more choice and lower prices as a result. Online pricing tools, such as automated repricing software, can also help sellers compete better, for the benefit of consumers. In this case, however, the parties used repricing software to implement an illegal agreement to deny consumers these benefits.

Sellers on online platforms need to be aware that agreeing with each other to limit price competition in this way is illegal and can have serious consequences for the companies and individuals involved.”

The CMA is committed to tackling such anti-competitive behaviour, which jeopardises online markets and consumer trust in ecommerce.”