PGMBM has launched an opt-out group claim in the UK against Fender Musical Instruments Europe Limited for alleged price fixing.
In 2020, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) fined Fender Europe £4.5 million for breaking competition law by preventing online discounting for its guitars. From 2013 to 2018, Fender required its guitars to be sold at or above a minimum price. During the course of its investigation, the CMA stated that it also found evidence that Fender on occasion pressurised retailers to raise their online prices, after being tipped off that they were not toeing the line. Exploring the case further, the CMA also found that certain Fender employees deliberately tried to cover up their actions by recording as little as possible in writing. But the investigation uncovered emails and texts from Fender’s IT servers and mobile phones, which helped to prove the illegal behaviour.
PGMBM is seeking compensation for customers who purchased electric guitars, acoustic guitars, and/or guitar accessory products between January 2013 and April 2018.
PGMBM will be entering into a a funding agreement to cover the costs of the proceedings, and the proposed class representative also plans to acquire after-the-event (ATE) insurance to cover any of Fender’s costs in the event that this claim is unsuccessful.