01.OmniBlend in hot water
OmniBlend Australia is being taken to court by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for allegedly attempting to engage in price fixing with a competitor. It has also alleged that OmniBlend encouraged a supplier to direct Omniblend's key competitor not to discount its blender prices.
Omniblend supplies various kitchen blenders through its online store to businesses and consumers in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. OmniBlend and its competitor are the two major distributors of OmniBlend branded blenders in Australia.
The ACCC alleges that OmniBlend attempted to fix prices with its competitor. When this failed, it's alleged that OmniBlend persuaded the supplier to keep prices of its products at a certain level by refusing to supply the competitor unless it stopped discounting the price of certain blenders.
Rod Sims, ACCC chairman, says: "Price fixing and resale price maintenance affect consumers by increasing prices, reducing consumer choice and distorting the competitive process."
"The ACCC views these types of anti-competitive conduct very seriously and will not hesitate to investigate and where appropriate take enforcement action against businesses who engage in this behaviour," he says.