The National Association of Music Merchants along with some American guitar manufacturers have been named in several lawsuits with claims of conspiring to artificially boost prices on their products in violation of the federal Sherman Antitrust Act.
Defendants include instrument makers Fender, Yamaha and Gibson along with The National Association of Music Merchants and US national chain retailer Guitar Center. Statements issued by the associations have said the suits are without merit and contain misinformation about the association and its members. Gibson have issued the following media statement:
Gibson Guitar Corp. is one of many manufacturers and organizations in the Musical Instrument Industry that has been named a party to approximately 30 lawsuits that claim they conspired to artificially increase and fix the prices of musical instruments. These lawsuits stemmed from an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission that lasted several years and was not pursued by the FTC after they concluded the investigation.
The allegation that Gibson participated in any scheme to artificially inflate or fix prices is wholly without merit. Gibson strives to provide customers with the best musical instruments in the world and to build lifelong relationships with musicians who choose the Gibson brand.
Gibson believes in the American system of justice and believes that, through that system, the claims against Gibson will show to have no merit. Unfortunately, that process will undoubtedly result in high costs to many organizations that, like Gibson, strive to provide music lovers everywhere with quality instruments and aggressively compete on price. They provide true and accurate information to their consumers, and continue to innovate and provide great value in product offerings overall – Gibson Guitar Corp.