Phonak possibly involved in price fixing

ZURICH, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Germany’s competition watchdog is investigating if Swiss hearing aid maker Sonova’s (SOON.VX) Phonak subsidiary put pressure on retailers regarding prices, a spokesman for the German Bundeskartellamt said on Tuesday.

“A letter has been sent to Phonak in connection with this ongoing investigation to give them the opportunity to comment,” Bundeskartellamt spokesman Kay Weidner told Reuters.

Weidner said Phonak was the only company investigated, adding that he could not provide further details.

A Sonova spokesman declined to comment.


Boy, now wouldn’t that be a surprise.:rolleyes::eek:

I didn’t understnad.

Someone explain please

Oh dear. You surely don’t think that all those big hearing aid companies would actually get together and AGREE to sell their products at those outrageous prices… :eek: :eek: :smiley:

Don’t you think that these are against stem cells research?

Sorry, my sarcastic reply didn’t communicate well.

It has been said or implied many times on this forum that the large hearing aid companies are actively colluding to stifle competition with the objective of keeping hearing aid prices far, far, higher than other electronic devices. IMO, a price fixing investigation is LONG overdue.

I have no idea what stem cell research has to do with price fixing.:confused:

So they agree to keep the prices high ??


The price fixing investigation may or may not conclude this…

From what i an see it appears that Phonak Germany has put pressure on German retailers regarding pricing, probably enforcing RRP. So not the whole of Sonova, who is one of two companies still allowing internet sales at MUCH lower pricing than most retail.

If true, that would be positive for the hearing aid industry. However, I am highly skeptical that this leopard has changed its spots. Remember, a price “MUCH lower” than Phonak’s outrageous prices could still be outrageous! :eek:

When Phonak offers high quality HAs (Internet sales for moderate HOH) for under $1000, I will be most happy to cheer them on. Until then, I remain very doubtful.

High quality is a relative term, as technology always improves even on the low end. You could get a low end for about A$ 850 these days which would be equavalent to top end 5 years ago.

From what i an see it appears that Phonak Germany has put pressure on German retailers regarding pricing, probably enforcing RRP

Exactly. Nobody is talking about an industry wide price-fixing cartel.

I have worked as a dispenser for some years now and I haven’t detected a trace of cartel-like price-fixing in the UK.

siemens was accuse of bribery at one point in time…
I know for sure, a cochlear employee was accuse of bribery in the US. it seems
he had paid com. to a Dr. A common practice in certain markets

Sonova: EUR4.2 Million To Settle German Cartel Probe; No Financial Impact

ZURICH -(Dow Jones)- Sonova Holding AG (SOON.VX) said Thursday it will pay a EUR4.2 million fine to German anti-trust authorities to set aside price-fixing allegations.

The Swiss hearing aid maker said the fine against its Phonak German unit won’t have any impact on the current year’s financial earnings.

“Phonak has denied that it has systematically influenced the retail prices of hearing aid audiologists, but will not take any further steps against the decision following today’s agreement with the Federal Cartel Office,” Sonova said in a statement.

Company Web site:

-By Katharina Bart, Dow Jones Newswires; +41 43 443 8043; katharina.bart@

So, German gov’t gets some money. Phonak gets an expensive slap on the wrist. And gouged users get…what exactly?

shame on them