(CN) – The Federal Trade Commission issued a consent order settling charges that the National Association of Music Merchants restrained competition by enabling and encouraging its 9,000 members to swap price information and business strategies.
In its complaint, the FTC accused the trade association of organizing meetings where its members coordinated price hikes for musical instruments, thereby harming consumers.
“The strong terms of the Commission order announced today will protect consumers from paying higher prices by ensuring that NAMM does not facilitate anticompetitive agreements or coordination,” said David P. Wales, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition.
Once signed, the order requires the NAMM to stop any anticompetitive conduct.
NAMM is a national trade association of musical instrument manufacturers, distributors and dealers.