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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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