EXCLUSIVE: Sydney-based consumer electronics reseller, Digital Cinema, has rejected claims made by Amber Technology to the ASX yesterday that they are “not” under investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The ACCC, in a separate statement to SmartHouse, has today confirmed that they are investigating the share-listed consumer electronics distributor.
There has been no explanation from Ambertech as to why they have left it till this week to try and discredit our reporting of the issue between Amber Technology and Digital Cinema.
See original story here.
Digital Cinema executive, Paul Godfrey, said that he had been contacted by the ACCC and that he had supplied documents and statements to the ACCC at their request.
Amber Technology, who is the distributor of Onkyo and Optoma products in Australia, has admitted to not honouring warranty claims on Onkyo products originally sold by them in Australia. They have also admitted writing to retailer JB Hi Fi in an effort to stop the supply of Onkyo products to Digital Cinema.
They have also tried to discredit Digital Cinema due to the company engaging in the parallel importing of the same goods sold at highly inflated prices by Amber Technology.
Godfrey who admits to buying Onkyo products from overseas said: “The ACCC contacted me, we had a lengthy discussion and they requested that I forward to them a dossier of documents and my recollection of conversations with Amber Technology. This has been done”.
In a statement issued to the ASX yesterday, Ambertech Limited said the Ambertech board maintains a general “no comment” policy in relation to market speculation and rumours, in accordance with the company’s Corporate Governance Policies. However, the board believes it is necessary to correct, in keeping with continuous disclosure principles, factual errors that could impact on the Ambertech share price.
In their statement to the ASX Ambertech also said: “In relation to the recent trade media comment, the Board wishes to assure all stakeholders that reports suggesting breaches of the Trade Practices Act by the company are baseless and factually incorrect. Ambertech has confirmed directly with the ACCC that the statement, made in the trade press articles, that the company is being investigated by the ACCC is also false”.
Earlier today Scott Gregson of the ACCC told SmartHouse that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is investigating the claims of Digital Cinema and that they are in receipt of documents from Digital Cinema relating to the actions of Ambertech Limited.
They also admitted that they were in possession of statements made by Brian Lee, General Manager of Ambertech’s Consumer Products Group.
What was not in the press statement was that three Ambertech executives had several conversations with ChannelNews when the company was trying to discredit Digital Cinema over what Ambertech CEO, Peter Amos, described as the “Parallel importing” of Ambertech distributed products.
These executives went out of their way to provide information and make comment on the issue prior to our original Digital Cinema story appearing.
In this story Digital Cinema admitted to SmartHouse and ChannelNews, that they were parallel importing Onkyo and Optoma goods from overseas, bypassing Amber Technology on the way. They also admitted that they had an arrangement to buy Onkyo goods from JB Hi Fi at a significant discount. These goods had originally been sold by Amber Technology to JB Hi Fi.
Investigations by ChannelNews reveal that Ambertech is selling some consumer electronics goods at up to 250 per cent higher than the cost of the same or similar goods being sold by US retailers, who are already taking a 17 per cent trade discount on the same goods.
In an effort to stop the actions of Digital Cinema, Amber Technology engaged a third party reseller, Eastwood Hi Fi to buy goods on their behalf. This was done in an effort to track the serial number of the goods being sold by Digital Cinema.
They also refused a warranty claim that a Digital Cinema customer had made on an Onkyo product. This product had originally been sold by Amber Technology to JB Hi Fi who then on sold it to Digital Cinema.
Brian Lee the General Manager of Consumer Products at Amber Technology admitted to SmartHouse that his company had refused the warranty claim because the goods were in his opinion “second hand” by the time they reached the Digital Cinema customer.
Digital Cinema claims that this was not the case as the goods had never been used in Australia and were in the same packaging supplied by Amber Technology and Onkyo.
Lee also admitted that he wrote to JB Hi Fi over the issue, they subsequently stopped supply to Digital Cinema.