Two major players in the Australian 4×4 industry have admitted to resale price maintenance

By Evan Spence 5 Min Read

MSA 4×4 Accessories, and Offroad Animal, two major players in the off-road aftermarket accessory industry, have both admitted to the illegal practice of resale price maintenance. This was following an investigation by the ACCC. 

What’s the story? 

Back in early 2022, MSA admitted that they had made instructions to their dealer and reseller network to not discount MSA accessories or products below a certain discount. 

In the case of Offroad Animal, they directed their network to not advertise their products, mostly bull bars, rock sliders and roof racks, below the recommended retail price set by Offroad Animal. 

What’s resale price maintenance?

According to the ACCC website, resale price maintenance occurs when a supplier prevents, or attempts to prevent a business such as an independent retailer or distributor from advertising or selling products below a specified minimum price.


The ACCC website also goes on to say that it is illegal for suppliers to threaten refusal of supply to a business if they don’t maintain certain prices for goods or services. If you want to know more about this, you can read in detail more info on the ACCC website. It’s interesting stuff, and I must admit that I didn’t know it was illegal in Australia either. It’s always good to brush up on your consumer laws. 

The ACCC also mentions that there is nothing illegal or wrong with using a supplier’s recommended retail price list. As long as it is a recommended retail price. Not a cold fact. They also mention that it would be illegal for the supplier to put pressure on resellers to charge listed prices.

A supplier is allowed to issue recommended prices, but must make that clear. They are only recommendations. Resellers can choose to discount the product, if they feel inclined to do so. 

What happens now?

Both Offroad Animal and MSA have agreed to provide corrective notices to all resellers. This notice must advise that the resellers of their product are free to set their prices. Both companies must also publish notifications of this on their websites. Lastly, they must establish, implement and maintain a competition and consumer compliance program. This program has a duration of three years. 


What Offroad Animal had to say 

We reached out to Offroad Animal, and spoke with the owner of the company, David Fitzpatrick. He was keen to make a statement on the recent case.

“To be honest, it’s not much of a story for you. Said David. “ We made some mistakes, we didn’t know what we were doing was illegal, we have fixed the issue and learned from the error.” 

“The ACCC brought it to our attention. We didn’t know what we were doing was wrong, now that we know it was wrong, we aren’t doing it anymore. We have to send an email out to our suppliers, put it on our website, and do some training on consumer law,” David went on to say. 

“We also deal in America, and it’s not against the law. In fact, retailers won’t deal with you unless you have a minimum-priced policy. A lot of people think of Apple, for example, you can’t discount Apple products. I think that most Australians would think it’s fair for a manufacturer or brand to be able to limit the retail or advertised price of a product. Again, we didn’t know it was an issue in Australia, now that we know it’s an issue, we fixed it and we’re not doing it anymore.”  

What MSA had to say 

We reached out to MSA, who declined to comment on the matter. We will update this story if they make a statement.  


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