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lightGenTHE NATIONAL Lighting Company has been fined £2.7 million for resale price maintenance by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

 

It follows an investigation that saw the CMA conclude the £121 million turnover supplier had imposed a minimum price on online sellers, who then had to retail goods at, or above, this price.


Dorset headquartered NLC tried to avoid detection by not committing agreements to writing, the CMA said in a press release, and has been fined for breaking competition law.


The fine covers violations in relation to its Endon and Saxby brands and includes an extra penalty because the company ignored an earlier warning letter from the CMA.


The CMA has today (Jun. 20, 2017) sent a number of warning letters to other suppliers in the light fittings sector where there are reasonable grounds to suspect they may also be engaging in RPM, it added.


Ann Pope, CMA Senior Director, Antitrust, said: "This decision should act as a warning to companies that resale price maintenance is illegal and that warning letters issued by the CMA are to be taken seriously and not to be ignored.


"The digital economy is booming and with so many businesses operating online it is vital that fair competition is maintained across all sectors. The CMA wants to ensure consumers get a fair price and a good deal. That can only happen when retailers are free to set their own prices."


NLC is one of the largest suppliers of home furnishings goods in the UK. Its owners have other, separately held, interests in the home sector, including the Kent-based Gallery Direct group that owns Dreamworks Beds and Frank Hudson.

NLC didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.


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