April 2018 – CMA announces it has opened five investigations relating to suspected anti-competitive agreements and concerted practices in relation to musical instruments and equipment.
August 2019 – CMA issues its first fine of £3.7m to a manufacturer of digital pianos and keyboards.
January 2020 – CMA issues its second fine of £4.5m to a manufacturer of guitars.
29 June 2020 – CMA issues two separate fines totalling £5.5m to manufacturers of electronic drums and synthesisers/hi-tech equipment, announces a separate settlement with a retailer regarding an agreement not to discount the online price of a certain brand of instruments, and publishes an open-letter to the entire musical instruments industry on the dangers of resale price maintenance.
17 July 2020 – CMA formally issues its infringement decision to a retailer and manufacturer further to the settlement mentioned above.
Musical instruments are among the top 20 industries (13th) with respect to their propensities to suffer from couterfeiting, and in some countries, the category can reach the second place. The main countries of origin are China, Hong Kong, and Thailand. Figures are growing year after year, and the quality of counterfeit goods is also improving.
Brands investment in R&D for producing better instruments needs to grow arithmetically or they will risk facing counterfeit competition, that will always copy your IP and improvements. This investment in R&D limits the price an instrument can be sold, but if the price gap with the counterfeit is too big, and quality good enough, the willingness to pay for real instruments lowers. These two opposite forces distress price and margin. RPM tries to prevent resellers to fight against counterfeit, but it is illegal. eCauda is much more efficient, it fights counterfeit by flagging those instruments not coming from the right channel.