As a long term Festool user I am happy to see that Festool are finally being investigated for their price fixing and underhanded techniques!
Shame on you Festool!Bundeskartellamt fines TTS Tooltechnic for vertical price fixing
Bonn, 20 August 2012: The Bundeskartellamt has imposed a fine of 8.2 million Euros on TTS Tooltechnic Systems Deutschland GmbH, Wendlingen ("TTS") for setting up and imposing a vertical resale price maintenance system.
Under the trademark "Festool" TTS sells high-quality power tools for joiners, painters, car sprayers and discerning private clients. These products are selectively distributed and sold exclusively in specialist stores. The proceedings were triggered by complaints from the specialist trade, which had been asked by TTS to strictly observe the "non-binding price recommendation" (RRP). The specialist outlets were threatened with disadvantages such as worse conditions or contract suspension if they deviated from this price.
Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: "Particularly in the case of products with significant market relevance, vertical resale price maintenance harms both the consumer and craftsmen`s trade. In order to achieve effective deterrence in such cases, an appropriate fine is therefore necessary."
TTS's competition law infringement could be proved in a series of hearings with personnel of the specialist trade involved. A representative selection of specialist outlets were questioned as witnesses and thus obliged to provide correct and complete information about the case.
TTS has agreed to have the proceedings terminated by way of a settlement. The Bundeskartellamt's decision can be appealed to the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court.