3 Feb 2010

Warning issued over on-line price fixing

2:52 pm on 3 February 2010

The Commerce Commission has issued an official warning to a seller on TradeMe for trying to fix prices with another seller.

The commission began investigations in September after a complaint that the seller - Ernie Travers of Massey in Auckland - emailed a competitor, suggesting they agree to sell LED bike lights at a set price.

Enforcement general manager Kate Morrison says Mr Travers denies sending the email, but could not satisfactorily explain who had sent the message.

Ms Morrison says price-fixing means consumers are likely to pay more than they otherwise would in a competitive market, and people who are selling on-line must be mindful of the Commerce Act.

She says any attempt to lessen competition will be viewed seriously, no matter what the forum.