Fender fined £4.5m for price-fixing in the UK

Some breaking news for guitar fans regarding one of the most famous brands (my personal favourite), Fender.

The company’s European division has been fined £4.5 million by the UK’s Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) for pressuring retailers not to reduce the price of Fender stock. This means prospective buyers of Fender (and their budget subsidiary Squier) will have generally found the cost of Stratocasters, Telecasters, Jazzmasters, and all the other available guitar models, all going for more or less the same price.

Image courtesy of Trevor Davies Music

The CMA’s investigation started in 2018, and Fender had already been fined £25,000 for consealing notebook at their European headquarters. The final fine, announced today, could have been as high as £14.2 million. However, the CMA’s leniency and settlement procedures mean that Fender’s penalty was reduced because they (finally) admitted fault.

What does this mean for the future?

For one thing, Fender won’t be able to lean on retailers, effectively forcing them to keep their preferred minimum price. That means you might find the price of a Fender guitar drops slightly, as rival musical instrument suppliers try to offer the best deal to the future.

To be completely honest, I’m more likely to buy another Fender (or Squier) guitar, if the prices start to come down. This might actually be a good thing for Fender!

What do you guys think? Let me know!

You can read a little more by viewing this Guardian news story.

Published by timguitar

Guitarist, composer, music therapist and avid bibliophile. Providing an insight into my life as a professional musician, lessons learned as an allied health practitioner, as well as various musings on the world of music in general. Expect plenty of articles about music & wellbeing, classical guitar, jazz, world/roots genres, and all sorts of guitar-related chat.

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