Is Sony stopping you from getting cheaper electronics?

This isn’t Sony’s month. According to the Register, Sony is one of several electronics firms that charges 10-15% more to web retailers than to high street shops. The article says:

This “dual pricing” strategy – designed to narrow the price differential between net and high street – was allegedly initiated by Sony and quickly adopted by other suppliers. Big-name retail chains have exerted pressure on the CE giants at a time of falling high street sales in the face of cut-price internet offers.

Online retailers have naturally cried foul and will meet today to decide whether to “name and shame” the guilty parties. Sony already faces Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and European Commission examination of its pricing strategy.

…Whatever the OFT decides in the matter, e-tailer spokesman James Roper, of the Independent Retail in Media Group, told The Times that manufacturers face a backlash from millions of online customers. “For the major brand which has instigated this policy, this appears to be an extremely risky step which will upset a lot of consumers,” he warned.

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