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Konica Minolta withdraws from the Voluntary Agreement

October 6, 2021

Konica Minolta, a significant player in the European office imaging equipment sector, withdraws from the European Union’s proposed Voluntary Agreement.

EuroVAprint advised the EU that Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH (Konica Minolta) will withdraw from the Imaging Equipment Voluntary Agreement (VA) effective 31 December 2021.

In their recent notification to DG Environment, EuroVAprint advised that Konica Minolta will be asked to submit their data to the independent inspector for the compliance report covering the period from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021.

Konica Minolta joins Ricoh and OKI in withdrawing from the VA and leaves a gap in the market coverage of the remaining OEMs. Our research estimates that the mainstream brands HP, Canon and Xerox only have 45% – 50% coverage of the European printer market. The remaining brands (Brother, Epson, Kyocera, Lexmark, Sharp and Toshiba) still in the VA account for 20% – 30% of the European printer market.

With possible market share projections of between 65% and 80%, the market share may not be large enough for the EU to endorse the VA. Instead, the EU would have to consider introducing an “Implementing Measure” that would apply to the whole imaging equipment market.   

EuroVAprint has advised the EU that if the VA is endorsed, the VA signatories will commission an assessment of the market share for hardware.

Our take on this: Size is everything. For a voluntary agreement to work, the signatories should represent a significant market share. With Konica Minolta joining Ricoh and Oki in exiting the VA, it remains to be seen if the market share is still big enough. The latest draft version also includes measures and targets for the reuse of OEM printer consumables. The draft VA does not cover all printer brands or new build cartridges, which are a more recent phenomenon since the EU first adopted the VA.

EuroVAprint responded to our story and commented that “The assessment made by the VA’s Independent Inspector RINA used the 2017 InfoSource market share assessment and subtracted the sales of the Signatories that have left the VA since the 2017 assessment, including Konica Minolta. The current hardware market share covered by the VA is estimated to be around 91.3%. This assessment does not take into account variations in market share between parties which may have occurred in the interim”. EuroVAprint further commented that “but even with variations since 2017 it is highly unlikely that the figure is below 80%.”

Categories : World Focus

Tags : DG Environment EU EuroVAprint Konica Minolta Voluntary Agreement

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