Tag Archives: breaking

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.

Guitar News: Fender announce new Player Series to replace MIM models

Recent news from Fender. It looks like the ‘Made In Mexico’ tag is being either rechristened or replaced…


There’s more on the story via this link to Reverb.com:

https://reverb.com/uk/news/fender-discontinues-mim-standard-series-replaces-with-the-player-series

The general consensus amongst guitar gear fans is that the MIM range improved greatly from 2006. I briefly owned one from 2012 (a lovely HSH model I sold as I wasn’t using anywhere near enough) and can testify to the improvement. My first ‘proper’ electric guitar was a Fender MIM Strat from 2000, which I still own. Hopefully I’ll never part with it. The original pickups were a little flat but otherwise I can’t fault it – but that’s just my humble opinion.

(I upgraded the pickups on this old Strat around ten years ago – more in that in a new post coming soon).
Still, having given up the more recent MIM guitar, I might have to give these new ‘Player Series’ models a look-over in the very near future. Do let me know your thoughts…

LEAKED: Fenders ‘Parallel Universe’ range

Some guitar news.

Just when you thought the big names, including Fender, were resting on their laurels with tweaks of their old classics (most of which have been mainstays in popular music since their introduction in the 1950’s & 1960’s), THIS is leaked…

Pic via GearNews.com

 

Fender’s ‘Parallel Universe’ range. A new model every month, starting in April this year.

Assuming the information leaked is correct, these guitars appear to be a funky mashup of the classic Fender shapes, mixing Stratocasters, Telecasters, Jazzmasters and Jaguars in some eye-catching combinations. Some of them, such as the ‘Troublemaker Tele’, have a Gibsonesque feel. Available in two finishes, I think these might be my favourite of the soon-to-be-released iterations…

Pic via GearNews.com

The downside? They’re apparently priced at over a grand a a half. Oh well…

The full story is available from a few sites, but I recorded my information from the two sites in the links below:

GearNews.com
MusicRadar.com

What do you think? As always, your thoughts & comments are welcome…