Does anyone know if stopping retailers from offering discount prices is illegal anywhere else in the world?
The U.S. outdoor brand that has dominated the South Korean market for years is at risk of losing its position after it was hit with a record fine.
The nation’s antitrust watchdog hit The North Face Korea last week with a 5.2 billion won ($4.6 million) fine for compelling all 151 of its retailers here to charge 10 to 15 percent higher prices than for rival brands since 1997 to maintain the brand’s premium image.
The Fair Trade Commission said that the unfair practices of the brand with over 30 percent market share also affected rival companies such as Kolon Sports, K2 and Columbia. Korean consumers also had to pay 50 percent more for the brand’s down jacket due to the price-fixing, according to Seoul Young Men’s Christian Association. [The North Face]
You can read the rest of the article at the link which includes information about how The North Face jackets have become a major status symbol in Korean schools and even a source of bullying.
It seems to me if a company wants to set their own price for a product they should be allowed to do so. If people do not want to pay it they can go elsewhere. Obviously The North Face is offering a product that Korean consumers are willing to pay a premium price for. It seems to me this has more to do with helping Korean outdoor businesses be more competitive against The North Face than actually caring what prices consumers are paying for these outdoor jackets.
So when is the FTC going to go after Samsung for example that sells electronics at prices higher in Korea compared to the United States?