Household appliance manufacturer Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH abandons anti-competitive rebate system
Bonn, 23 December 2013: As of 2014, the manufacturer of household appliances Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH will discontinue its system of performance rebates introduced on 1 January 2013. The rebate system put so-called hybrid dealers at a disadvantage who sold household appliances both in a brick-and-mortar shop and via a webshop. On account of the rebate system, the more turnover hybrid dealers generated via their webshop, the less rebates they received. The Bundeskartellamt initiated proceedings against Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH after it had received numerous complaints from hybrid dealers.
Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt:
"It goes without saying that a manufacturer is allowed to agree with his dealers on quality requirements for the sale of his products. However, if the granting of turnover-based purchase rebates restricts dealers in their choice of a sales channel, this is unacceptable. The rebate system created incentives for dealers to limit their online sales. As a result, competition through online sales was reduced. In the meantime Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH has informed in writing all dealers affected that it intends to discontinue its previous rebate system. We will therefore not continue the proceedings for the time being."
The Bundeskartellamt was of the opinion that the rebate system of Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH constituted an anti-competitive system of dual pricing - similar to the rebate system of the garden product manufacturer GARDENA to which the Bundeskartellamt had recently objected (cf. press release of 28 November 2013). Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH informed the Bundeskartellamt that as of 2014 it will refrain from splitting rebates. As a consequence, in future the same rebates can be obtained for brick-and-mortar and for online sales.
Further information is available at the website of the Bundeskartellamt (German version).