What do you think of the following news item:
Bundeskartellamt, the German regulator, said LEGO kept lists of its toys, prices and retailers and threatened those shops that sought to lower their retail prices.
"In some cases the retailers were threatened with either a reduction in supply, or even with the refusal to supply if they offered articles at retail prices below those set in the lists," Bundeskartellamt said in a statement.
In other cases, discounts on the cost of LEGO products for stores were made conditional on the retailers maintaining the listed resale prices, the regulator said.
LEGO is the world's largest toymaker by sales having recently overtaken U.S. Barbie-maker Mattel and Monopoly-board maker Hasbro.
"We take the non-compliant actions from the specific LEGO employees, as well as the decision of the Bundeskartellamt, very seriously and we have taken steps to prevent such conduct again," LEGO Chief Financial Officer John Goodwin said.
The Bundeskartellamt decision is based on findings from an internal LEGO investigation, initiated by the company based upon information received from the Bundeskartellamt. ($1 = 0.9211 euros) (Reporting by Ole Mikkelsen; editing by Sabina Zawadzki and David Clarke)
Did this only happen in Germany or are the prices in other countries manipulated by TLG as well? And what about the reduction in supply of sets?
In my opinion the fine is relatively low and one can wonder about the authorities in other countries, will they investigate this?
When I look at the US prices and discounts I can only envy that, because we never have discounts on LEGO in the Netherlands in regular toy stores.
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Having said that, not what I would expect from TLG and deserving of a fine.
They might have done it to the smaller independents, as many of them charge RRP and are still trying to sell Galaxy Squad and so on. Although many of them charge RRP for all their stock, over other companies ranges too.
And no doubt on Big Business power in the States @madforLEGO. But luckily we have some power to shine light on dubious practices and try to push for change. These are the opportunities we need to blow it up and bring it out for public discussion. Because it's the publicity that is the most worrisome for companies like TLG.
If you're talking about the US then iPads go on sale all the time. Granted not as cheap as Android tablets but you definitely don't want to pay retail unless it's a new release.
Then I'm looking in the wrong place. The only place I've ever seen a current gen on sale is the few percent discount that is typical of most stuff at Sam's Club. For instance, all the iPad Air 2s and Mini 4s at Target, Best Buy and Walmart are standard price. A few weeks ago, they were on "sale" at Target, but that was their usual "buy and iPad, get a gift card" deal they have once a month it seems.
I have to buy them for work frequently for giveaways and always wait for one of those promos. Granted, regardless, I'm not paying for them, so I only look at the bigger retailers and don't shop around too much.
Several other companies are coming round to it for other reasons. They have found that having sales on their products just trains people to wait for sales & does little to increase the total amount of units sold.
'Bundesamt' means Federal Office, and 'kartell' makes sense. (German often uses a k for words that have a hard c in English)
US list prices are lower to begin with, but further discounts seem rare, a quirk of a particular store's inventory.
Just because it is common knowledge amongst a segment of the population does not mean it is OK. Price-fixing is illegal in the US and TLGs policies on discounts are basically a round-about way of price-fixing. Maybe it is exploiting a loophole by not setting a specific price. I have read that Playmobil has similar policies and have cut off supply for stores that discounted their products too much.
Many members of our government are against any type of regulations for businesses and dare not enforce these laws at the risk of being anti-business. If a company does get prosecuted the penalty would be minimal. When Nintendo got caught fixing prices for the NES during the 80s their punishment was to send out $5 coupons for games, which was basically advertising to benefit themselves.