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CARTEL AMONG OCCASION WEAR SHOPS RESULTED IN HIGHER PRICES FOR CONSUMERS

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The Competition Council found a number of occasion wear shops operating in Vilnius guilty of a cartel that set a fixed dress try-on fee for customers. Firms received fines ranging from EUR 1 to EUR 1,960, with seven out of 12 cartel members admitting the infringement.

Shop representatives discussed the idea of introducing the try-on fee during the 2016 wedding fair and set the exact amount of that fee – EUR 10 – later by exchange of e-mails. In particular, the cartel ring-leader sent out invitations regarding the try-on fee to 22 occasion wear shops, and received support from 11 of them.

Price-fixing cartels are serious infringements regardless of the size of firms involved.

The Council‘s Chairman Šarūnas Keserauskas

According to the Chairman, even if cartel members are small firms, such price-fixing arrangements directly affect consumers by undermining their ability to purchase products at lower prices, and as such must be prosecuted accordingly.