Music Industry Heavyweights Named In Class Action Suit

By Andy Doerschuk Published August 18, 2010

A class action lawsuit was filed on July 16 in the U.S. District Court in Southern California claiming that NAMM, Guitar Center, and a number of leading guitar and amplifier makers engaged in a price-fixing conspiracy.

Filed on behalf of 15 individuals who purchased guitars at Guitar Center locations, the suit alleges that between 2004–’09, NAMM conspired with Guitar Center to force suppliers into adopting restrictive Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) policies that artificially inflated prices. The lawsuit consolidates more than 30 previous class action suits, which at one time targeted a number of drum and percussion manufacturers. But even though the new suit focuses exclusively on guitar and amplifier sales, several high-profile companies in the percussion sector remain as defendants because of their guitar and amplifier divisions, including Yamaha, Roland, Hoshino (Tama), and Kaman (Gibraltar).

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