Shares in Ambertech, one of the few ASX listed consumer electronics companies, have fallen more than 5.6 per cent since ChannelNews first reported their attempts to stop a Sydney based retailer from selling Onkyo and Optoma products in Australia.
Ambertech are the official distributor of Onkyo and Optoma products in Australia.
As at July 12th 2010, Ambertech shares were trading at $0.390. Today those share have fallen to $0.340 after Sydney based reseller digital Cinema lodged a complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission claiming that Ambertech had engaged in restrictive trading practises.
In a statement to the ASX, the directors and executive management of Ambertech Limited (ASX code: AMO), said that the company was unaware of any motive for what they described as “false” reporting by ChannelNews and SmartHouse.
The reality is that Peter Amos the CEO of Ambertech and Brian Lee, the General Manager of the company’s Consumer Electronics Division were well aware of the claims made by Digital Cinema and so was Company Secretary, Robert Glasson, who had been CC’d in on emails between Brian Lee and myself on this matter.
In an email to 4Square Media that was also CC’d to Company Secretary, Robert Glasson, Brian Lee accused 4Square Media of falsely reporting what he had said. After this claim was made we sent him a transcript of the conversation that had taken place between Brian Lee and I.
At the time the CEO of the Company, Peter Amos, was away on annual leave.
Lee, during the conversation with 4Square Media, did not deny allegations that the company was engaging in restrictive trading practises with Digital Cinema.
He admitted writing a letter to JB Hi Fi in an effort to stop the trading of goods between JB Hi Fi and Digital Cinema.
He admitted in interviews with 4Square Media that the company had engaged another reseller, Eastwood Hi fi, to buy stock on Amber’s behalf in an effort to track down the serial numbers of Onkyo and Optoma products being sold by Digital Cinema, who at one stage was selling Onkyo and Optoma products significantly cheaper than the Ambertech recommended retail price.
This action begs the question as to why Amber engaged a third party to buy goods, when they could have easily sent in a member of their own staff or purchased the goods online.
Lee also admitted that once he discovered that the goods had been purchased from JB Hi Fi, a company who Amber supplied in the first place, he attempted and successfully got that company to stop supply to Digital Cinema.
When challenged over Amber’s decision not to offer warranty support on the goods that Amber had initially supplied to JB Hi Fi, he said the goods were “second hand” for the simple reason that the goods had been on sold to Digital Cinema.
These are the same goods that Amber Technology executives have admitted to 4Square Media contains an Amber margin for Warranty support.
Last night, executives at the ASX said that they will investigate the claims made by Ambertech in their statement to the ASX. Four Square Media has also supplied the ASX with the direct line telephone number of a senior ACCC executive who has told 4Square Media that they are currently investigating claims made by Digital Cinema against Ambertech.
See Ambertech ASX statement below.