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#1991948 - 11/28/12 01:05 PM Steinway & Sons Switzerland raided in anti-trust probe!
Thrill Science Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 571
Loc: California
The offices of Steinway & Sons Swiss dealers were raided as part of an antitrust probe into piano purchases at the Zurich University of the Arts.

Evidence indicates that there may have been agreements on sales territories and prices for Steinway pianos, the Swiss Competition Commission said in an e-mailed statement today. Imports of pianos from neighboring countries may have been impeded or prevented, the watchdog said. The probe was started yesterday.

See full article here:

Robert Swirsky
Thrill Science, Inc.

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#1992123 - 11/28/12 08:08 PM Re: Steinway & Sons Switzerland raided in anti-trust probe! [Re: Thrill Science]
Dave B Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 2347
Loc: Philadelphia area
It will be interesting to watch this play out. Thanks for the post. There was a post last year complaining about a very similar situation here in the USA.
"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams

#1992336 - 11/29/12 09:40 AM Re: Steinway & Sons Switzerland raided in anti-trust probe! [Re: Thrill Science]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10681
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

#1992349 - 11/29/12 10:23 AM Re: Steinway & Sons Switzerland raided in anti-trust probe! [Re: Thrill Science]
Piano*Dad Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10650
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
There is not enough "there" in that article for me to understand the issues. But at a surface level, how is this different from any manufacturer, say, oh, Yamaha, from having a suggested retail price that is more than a mere suggestion.

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#1992388 - 11/29/12 11:54 AM Re: Steinway & Sons Switzerland raided in anti-trust probe! [Re: Thrill Science]
frog97 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/12
Posts: 63
Loc: West side of the Globe
col·lu·sive (k-lsv, -zv)
Acting in secret to achieve a fraudulent, illegal, or deceitful goal.

[kuh-loo-siv] Show IPA

involving collusion; fraudulently contrived by agreement: a collusive agreement to increase prices.

#1992535 - 11/29/12 06:09 PM Re: Steinway & Sons Switzerland raided in anti-trust probe! [Re: Thrill Science]
Paulwbenn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 53
Loc: Dallas
The Swiss Franc has seen wild appreciation in recent years against the US Dollar and the Euro. This makes products sold in neighboring Germany and France and priced in Euros much cheaper in real terms than in Switzerland where the same products are priced in Francs. It wouldn't surprise me to find that Steinway or its Swiss dealers were looking to protect the local dealers from price competition across the border.

#1992552 - 11/29/12 07:00 PM Re: Steinway & Sons Switzerland raided in anti-trust probe! [Re: Thrill Science]
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2431
Loc: Lowell MA
Wild appreciation ???

I was thoroughly thrashed converting Swiss Francs to Euros, Franks were very low.

What am I missing?
"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
Mark Twain

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688

#1992577 - 11/29/12 08:04 PM Re: Steinway & Sons Switzerland raided in anti-trust probe! [Re: Larry Buck]
Thrill Science Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 571
Loc: California
Also the pianos available in Switzerland were likely from Steinway Hamburg, so any USD/CHF fluctuation may be irrelevant. (Isn't that one of the reasons Steinway opened a European factory in the first place?)
Robert Swirsky
Thrill Science, Inc.

#1992592 - 11/29/12 08:57 PM Re: Steinway & Sons Switzerland raided in anti-trust probe! [Re: Thrill Science]
PianoWorksATL Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 3017
Loc: Atlanta, GA
This is related to an institutional purchase. In some cases and in my experience, the regulatory efforts employed to prevent fraud or corruption are frustratingly difficult to satisfy even with the best intentions and help from the regulating body.

Anti-trust sounds scary. I'll be interested to see what becomes public.

I will wait for more information before judging the situation, but either way, I bet any legal defense will be an untimely expense. It would be for anyone in our small industry.
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
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