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Details On New Policies

3/12/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern

Samsung told TWICE it has implemented a
unilateral pricing policy that will set minimum pricing
levels (at or below MAP) at which indicated products
should be sold. Under the terms, retailers are
free to set their own selling prices, but those who
sell below the prescribed UPP limits will be subject
to “a schedule of penalties.” The program affects
all ES6100 series LED/LCD TVs and up, all E550
plasma series TVs and up, ES6000 and E6500
Blu-ray players, E6500 and E6730W home theater
systems, HW-E550/1 soundbars and DA-E750/1
and DA-E670 docks. The program is in effect immediately
for indicated E series products as they
hit retail shelves. The program extends beyond UPP
policies first imposed by Samsung on early LED TVs
several years ago, and Black Friday UPP policies
that have been in effect for the past couple of years,
Samsung said. The company has an enforcement
committee to assure “consistency” in the market.
Joe Stinziano, Samsung senior VP, said the company
has “a number of differentiating technologies
now in the marketplace” and that Samsung “is in a different place today than in the past.” Dave Das,
Samsung TV product marketing VP, added that the
program is “critically important now to ensure that we
as a company can continue to invest in cutting-edge
technologies.”

LG Electronics’ dealers were notified of an expanded
Internet sales policy (not to be confused with
a UPP) that prohibits retailers from selling LG 5700
series TV models and higher as third parties to online
marketplace sites, like those run by Amazon, Sears
and others. However, dealers will be able to continue
selling products through their own sites, offering customary
consumer education and sales support.

Sony Electronics said its SURE unilateral pricing
policy will be expanded April 1 to all forthcoming
2012 EX- and HX- series Bravia TVs, joining
2011 XBR-55/65HX929, KDL-65HX729 and KDL-
60EX720 series models. The policy will be enforced
using a third-party monitoring organization and Sony
is asking anyone to forward evidence of potential violations
directly to Sony.

Panasonic has updated both its minimum advertised
pricing (MAP) and channel management
policies for the home entertainment line, while at the
same time broadening the range of products that
are restricted from sales through third-party marketplaces.
And Panasonic has reduced the number of
dealers it services on a direct-ship basis, in a bid to
keep the home entertainment lines profitable. Those
no longer qualifying for direct distribution have been
referred to authorized distributors.

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