Hey musicians, did you buy a guitar from musical instrument giant Guitar Center between 2005 and 2007? If so, you might be eligible for a settlement. A class action lawsuit has been filed against both Guitar Center and the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), claiming that the two conspired to fix pricing on fretted instruments including acoustic and electric guitars, banjos, violins, and more.
The suit claims that NAMM organized meetings and programs where competing retailers were encouraged to agree on strategies for price-fixing, which is anti-competitive.
“Guitars and other fretted instruments comprise a multi-million dollar industry in the United States alone, and one that’s heavily influenced by a handful of industry giants like Guitar Center,” said Steve Berman, lead attorney and managing partner at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, who filed the suit. “We contend that, even with its market domination, the company acted illegally to rig the marketplace to its benefit.”
The suit, filed on Tuesday in Los Angeles, also claims that defenants tried to quash competition from online retailers by threatening to boycott manufacturers selling through online competitors. If you bought a fretted instrument between 2005 and 2007, you can become part of the class action suit here.