A class-action lawsuit has been brought against the European and US divisions of Fender over price-fixing.
This follows Fender's £4.5 million fine two years ago by the UK's Competition and Markets Authority after the guitar giant admitted to engaging in price-fixing over a five-year period. The company was then found to have broken UK competition law when it required retailers to guarantee a minimum retail price on its guitars.
In this new development, originally reported by The Times (opens in new tab), a class-action suit has been brought about by consumer rights campaigner and lawyer Elisabetta Sciallis and global law firm PGMBM.
PGMBM has confirmed it has issued proceedings against Fender to seek monetary compensation for customers who claim they paid above market value for guitars between 2013 and 2019.
Jeremy Evans, lead lawyer at the firm, stated: “Fender, by their own admission, took part in this price fixing activity which meant people buying their products either online or in a shop would have had to pay significantly more than normally the case. This will have impacted on people buying other makes of guitars as the price of other manufacturers’ models will also have been driven up.
“We are estimating that the average customer will have paid significantly more than normal market value for guitars during this period as a result of the price management policy Fender operated,” Evans added.
“This will have affected schools buying instruments for their pupils to learn [with], budding musicians struggling to make ends meet while they gig in pubs and clubs, not just high-flying rock stars and bands.
“Now Fender has been called out, we want those affected to be able to claim damages as a result of this action so they can reduce the financial impact of this activity.”
PGMBM is now encouraging anyone who bought a Fender guitar between January 13 2013 and April 17 2019 to register their interest in the class-action claim here (opens in new tab).
A spokesman for Fender told MusicRadar that it was not company policy to comment on on-going legal matters.