Bundeskartellamt – the manufacturer of school backpacks has to pay a fine – economy

The Federal Cartel Office has fined school backpacks maker Fond Of, known for brands such as ergobag and Satch, nearly two million euros for restricting price competition. “For years, the Fond Of company has set minimum prices for its backpacks and school bags and has ensured that the retailers involved do not fall below these prices,” said the president of the office of cartels, Andreas Mundt. Such “vertical pricing” often meant consumers would have to pay higher prices, Mundt said. “When it comes to backpacks and school bags in particular, parents’ willingness to pay is relatively high in order to protect their children. According to the Cartel Office’s investigation, Fond Of had restricted between 2010 and 2019 retailers in fixing their prices on the sale of schoolbags and backpacks. The respect of minimum prices has been systematically controlled and enforced with sanctions against resellers. And this, although the manufacturers do not were in fact allowed to give non-binding price recommendations only since the 1970s.

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