NAMM Responds to Price Fixing Charge

Friday, September 25, 2009| by Will Chen

In a September 24, 2009 press release, NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) has responded to the Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP class action lawsuit which has been reprinted in part below.

"NAMM believes that the recent lawsuits filed by plaintiffs making antitrust claims against the association are without any merit and reflect an incorrect understanding of the consent agreement that NAMM entered into with the FTC in March of this year...These types of legal actions based on misinformation...are a detriment to the music industry, to music makers and to music lovers everywhere. While NAMM is understandably disappointed that these groundless lawsuits have been filed, the association does have a legal strategy in place to defend and protect itself against these claims."

The consent agreement referred to is the March 4th, 2009 cease and desist order prohibiting NAMM from

"...acting directly or indirectly, or through any corporate or other device, in or affecting commerce, as “commerce” is defined by the Federal Trade Commission Act, forthwith shall cease and desist from...Urging, encouraging, advocating, suggesting, coordinating, participating in, or facilitating in any manner the exchange of information between or among Musical Product Manufacturers or Musical Product Dealers relating to: (a) the retail price of Musical Products; or (b) any term, condition or requirement upon which any Musical Product Manufacturer or Musical Product Dealer deals, or is willing to deal, with any other Musical Product Manufacturer or Musical Product Dealer, including, but not limited to, Price Terms, margins, profits, or pricing policies, including but not limited to Minimum Advertised Price Policies or Resale Price Maintenance Policies."

The full details of the March case can be viewed here and an easier to read analysis can be read here.

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