The boss of the failed retailer, whose warehouse was raided by the FBI following allegations of online price-fixing, has been disqualified for five years.
Trod, which traded under the names of Buy 4 Less, Buy For Less, Buy-For-Less-Online, 247 Toys and Global Trader, was at the centre of a probe by the FBI and Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
It was alleged that managing director Daniel William Aston and co-conspirators fixed the price of certain posters sold online to US customers on Amazon Marketplace from September 2013 to January 2014.
Daniel’s disqualification comes months after the CMA decided that Trod had breached competition law. It was fined £163,371.
Its Rednal warehouse was raided in December 2015 and the business, which at the time had a turnover of £15m, went into administration in March 2016.
Michael Grenfell, executive director for enforcement at the CMA, said: “Breaking competition law can harm consumers, businesses and overall economic performance. In this case, people shopping online were entitled to believe retailers were competing on price, whereas, unknown to them, the companies had colluded not to undercut each other’s prices. The responsibility to ensure that companies don’t engage in illegal anti-competitive practices is an important one, and company directors should not shirk that responsibility.”