CCP warns businesses against fixing similar retail prices.

ISLAMABAD -- The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has said that businesses should not maintain the same retail prices of identical products since every company has a different production cost and profitability model.

CCP Chairperson Rahat Kaunain Hassan has said that maintaining similar retail rates is a form of price fixing and diminishes consumers' bargaining power.

'Undertakings must refrain from entering into arrangements of retail price maintenance (RPM) and it was a form of price fixing globally,' Ms Hassan said. 'In EU, China, UK Australia, and some states in America, it is considered anti-competitive.'

Speaking at an awareness session at the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) hosted by Unilever Pakistan, she said that unless exempted for any particular efficiency grounds, RPM is generally taken as violative of Competition Law.

She referred to the recent case of RPM amongst electronic home appliance manufacturers where the regulator CCP imposed a combined penalty of over Rs1 billion.

She added that the choice to offer forms of discount or package deals is an important part of the negotiating process with consumers, which should be left to dealers as per their own independent commercial decisions.

The purpose of the session was to sensitise OICCI member companies on the importance of fair marketing practices and the repercussions of violating Section 10 of the Competition Act 2010 for consumers, businesses and the economy in general.

The CCP chairperson said that deceptive marketing practices have a direct impact on consumers and businesses and therefore, firms that are engaged in the business of marketing and selling...

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