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FTC Forces Samsung to Stop Anti-Competitive Practices in Dealing with Retailers

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has ordered Samsung to stop its anti-competitive practices in the country. The agency, which oversees antitrust laws, says Samsung is not allowed to directly demand retail prices for its products from stores. The company had been following this practice for about six years before the FTC began investigating.

Samsung reportedly asked authorized dealers and stores to provide it with the retail prices of its products. This practice continued from January 2017 to September 2023, when the FTC launched an investigation.

By 2020, Samsung is said to have demanded retail prices for 15,389 products from 159 dealers across the United States. These products included refrigerators, washing machines, and other home appliances.

Demanding retail prices is considered illegal because this information is part of a trade secret.

Samsung has used this pricing data to evaluate the performance of its dealerships and to grant certain incentives. The FTC says it will continue to monitor the matter to ensure that the South Korean tech giant does not interfere with retailers’ operations.

“Samsung’s actions of demanding retail prices for its products from retailers is a clear interference in their business operations and violates US law,” said an FTC official. “Margin information is confidential because it can affect the terms and conditions of contracts between the two parties.”

 

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