No kidding in jumper war
Fremantle Dockers jumper supplier ISC and Perth sports retail king Jim Kidd will square off before the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission tomorrow morning after a bitter row erupted over heavily discounted Dockers guernseys.
And according to a competition expert the retailer has a case.
Mr Kidd and ISC are locked in a dispute over the sports retailer’s selling of Dockers jumpers at $79.95, some $30 less than competitors and the official price charged by the Dockers themselves.
Mr Kidd, who buys the jumpers wholesale from ISC for $55, has been informed by the supplier that it would not supply any more unless he lifted his sale price to $110.
The case will go before the ACCC tomorrow and business law expert Frank Zumbo told 6PR radio today that Kidd appeared to have a case.
“Any manufacturer needs to be very careful when they try and specify a minimum price for which products can be sold, for the simple reason it could amount to what is called ‘resale price maintenance’,” Mr Zumbo said.
“And that would be a breach of our competition and consumer laws. There is (also) always the danger the conduct could amount to cartel behaviour if other parties are involved.”
Mr Zumbo said fines of up to $10 million were applicable to breaches of competition and consumer laws and that, by threatening to withhold supply, ISC was treading on dangerous ground.
ISC has reportedly said Kidd’s discounted price was detrimental to its clothing brand but Mr Zumbo said that argument was shaky, unless the sports retailer had been selling the jumpers below cost price.