- Fender and four other keyboard firms are believed to be under investigation
- Competition and Markets Authority are said to have searched British offices
- Investigation is at early stage and will focus on anti-competitive agreements
Guitar maker Fender and four top keyboard firms are said to have been raided in a price-fixing probe.
The five companies have not been officially named but Fender is believed to have been included, reports the Sunday Telegraph.
Dawn raids at their British officers were reportedly conducted by staff from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
The CMA website has five separate cases open relating to ‘musical instruments and equipment: suspected anti-competitive agreements’, with each one beginning on April 17, 2018.
Guitar maker Fender and four top keyboard firms are said to have been raided by staff from the Competition and Markets Authority in a price-fixing probe (pictured: Jimi Hendrix with his Fender Statocaster guitar)
The pages state that ‘this investigation is at an early stage and no assumptions should be made that competition law has been infringed’.
They also state that the initial investigation is due to last until Autumn 2018.
It is believed that the inquiry will focus on whether or not any attempt has been made to manipulate sales of musical instruments and pro-audio equipment, according to the Sunday Telegraph.
A music insider source told the Sunday Telegraph that up to 10 staff members from CMA visited offices for as many as four days during searches.
A CMA spokeswoman told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘We are in the initial, informal evidence gathering stage of five investigations in the musical instrument sector.’
The CMA can issue formal requests to interview people related to cases, and can enter businesses without a warrant in some circumstances.
Any company that breaks competition laws can be fined up to 10 per cent of their global turnover, company directors can be disqualified for up to 15 years and can face up to five years in prison.
Fender has been contacted for comment.
It is believed that the inquiry will focus on whether or not any attempt has been made to manipulate sales of musical instruments and pro-audio equipment (file photo)