Sanrio has issued a statement highlighting its commitment to ‘enforcing and enhancing its compliance,’ with European Commission regulations on trade across the Single Market.
It’s a move made by the firm, the Japanese owners of popular brands such as Hello Kitty and Mr Men and Little Miss ‘in the interests of retaining the trust of all stakeholders,’ in light of a recent fine enforced by the Commission.
Earlier this week, the European Commission fined Sanrio €6.9 million for the illegal restriction of where manufacturers sold its licensed toys, bags and other products.
According to the commission, the restrictions led to less choice and higher prices for consumers, and acted against the regulations of the European Commission’s single market.
Issuing a statement on the fine – that rings in at around £6.2million – Margrethe Vestager, the union’s competition commissioner, said: “Traders who sell licensed products cannot be prevented from selling products in a different country.
“Consumers, whether they are buying a Hello Kitty mug or a Chococat toy can now take full advantage of one of the main benefits of the Single Market: the ability to shop around Europe for the best deals.”
The fine was imposed on Tuesday this week, following a two-year investigation by the European antitrust regulators. It said that Sanrio had restricted businesses that had purchased the right to make Hello Kitty merchandise from selling the items outside of their home country.
Sanrio has not contested the penalty but accepted the European Commission’s decision.
“Sanrio fully accepts the European Commission’s decision and remains committed to enforcing and enhancing our compliance programme across the group, in the interests of retaining the trust of all stakeholders,” read Sanrio’s statement.
The European Commission noted that Sanrio had fully cooperated with the investigation, earning a 40 per cent reduction in the fine.
Sanrio’s flagship character, Hello Kitty, now appears on 50,000 different products in 130 countries, with sales that have reached nearly $8bn a year.