Bundeskartellamt fines LEGO for vertical resale price maintenance
The Bundeskartellamt has imposed a fine of 130,000 euros on LEGO GmbH for enforcing vertical resale price maintenance in the sale of its so-called "highlight articles". Those affected were retailers in northern and eastern Germany who in 2012 and 2013 were forced by sales representatives of LEGO GmbH to raise their retail prices.
Regularly updated lists were kept of the articles concerned and the names of the selected retailers. 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. In other cases the level of discount on the retailers' purchase prices granted by LEGO GmbH was made conditional on the maintenance of the listed resale prices by the retailers.
Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: "
After the proceeding was opened LEGO carried out extensive inhouse investigations and from the onset significantly contributed to clarifying the facts of the case. The company also drew the necessary organizational and personnel consequences. In setting the fine full consideration was taken of its cooperation and the fact that a settlement could be reached."
The order imposing the fine is not yet final and can be appealed to the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court.