Claims of price fixing against Teac

The ACCC has begun legal proceedings against Teac

Electronics vendor, Teac Australia, has come under scrutiny for alleged price fixing.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has begun legal proceedings against Teac Australia in the Federal Court for allegedly fixing retail pricing of a range of branded electronic goods including televisions, digital set-top boxes and portable music players.

In a statement, ACCC alleges Teac contravened section 48 of the Trade Practices Act by inducing a retailer not to advertise its products below the 'go price' it specified. The retailer has not been identified.

Alongside this claim, the ACCC has commenced proceedings against the company's national sales manager, Warren Allison, for being knowingly concerned with Teac's resale price maintenance.

The industry watchdog is now calling for injunctions against Teac and Allison to prevent both engaging in similar conduct and for penalties against both parties. It will also ask that Teac implement a trade practices compliance program and write to customers informing them of its price maintenance actions.

The case will appear before the Federal Court in Melbourne on July 23.

The ACCC's claims come three months after Teac's former chief financial officer, Kenneth Evans, was charged by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) for offences relating to Teac's business practices. Evans has been charged with eight counts under the Corporations Act. His arrest followed his former colleague and managing director of Teac Australia, Gavin Muir, on March 30 for 11 counts under the Corporations Act.

The charges relate to a $6 million shortfall reported after the sale of Teac's Port Melbourne premises to Muir's private company, Bay St Corporation, in 2002.

Teac Australia was sold to Singaporean interests earlier this year after going into administration in 2005.

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