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Roland "surprised and disappointed" at £5m fine following CMA appeal

Best Roland electronic drum sets: Roland TD-27KV
(Image credit: Roland)

Gear giant Roland has seen a 20% 'settlement discount' of its June 2020 fine for "restricting online discounting of its electronic drum kits between 2011 and 2018" rescinded following an appeal, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced.

A statement on the UK Government's website reads: "The fine imposed by the CMA had been reduced under its leniency and settlement programmes to take account of the fact that Roland had admitted acting illegally and cooperated with the CMA’s investigation. 

"In a highly unusual move, Roland appealed to the Competition Appeal Tribunal against the level of the fine which it had itself agreed to pay as part of its settlement with the CMA.

"In today’s judgment, the Tribunal unanimously upheld the CMA’s decision in its entirety, dismissing Roland’s arguments that its conduct was not sufficiently serious to justify such a high fine and that the CMA should have awarded it a higher leniency discount.

"The Tribunal also agreed with the CMA that, by appealing against the CMA’s decision, Roland had breached its bargain with the CMA to accept a lower fine in return for agreeing not to appeal. 

"It decided that Roland should therefore lose the benefit of its 20% settlement discount. As a result, Roland’s fine was increased to just over £5 million, an increase of more than £1 million."

Roland today responded, commenting: “Roland is surprised and disappointed by the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s decision and is considering the options available to it.

"Roland’s decision to appeal the amount of the penalty imposed upon it by the CMA does not affect how seriously Roland takes compliance with Competition law rules, and supports the CMA efforts to monitor and address suspected RPM in the musical instrument sector and other industries.”