Warning! Ths information may not be suitable for all. This material may cause puking.
This is the first in a series of posts where I will attempt to X-pose certain facts you as the consumer may not be aware of when you purchase a firearm or firearm accessory.
There will be arguments to support these practices and as many or more against. Comment for or against are of course welcome.
I will go on record saying I am vehemently opposed to any restraint of trade or price fixing schemes.
I am however at the same time, an advocate of free enterprise.
This post is about fairness and to inform you. You as the consumer should be made aware but You must ultimately decide if you wish to support these practices by continuing to buy products from these manufactures after reading the facts.
Unilateral Price fixings loophole is the 'Colgate Policy', otherwise and not withstanding these practices would Illegal under Sherman Anti-Trust laws which have been in place for 100 years.
37 of 50 State Attorney Generals oppose Retail Price Maintanienence and all 50 State have some consumer protection laws against illegial price fixing. Only the state of Maryland has outrightly and specificialy banned MAP pricing, a form vertical price fixing to be discussed in future posts.
First up is Unilateral Pricing Policies.
If you have ever wondered why the price of a certain “Brand” item is priced exactly the same in all retail stores and even on the internet, it is because of Unilateral Pricing.
Some manufactures employ a price fixing scheme known as Unilateral Pricing.
Firearms industry manufactures that engage in Unilateral Pricing schemes Include but are not limited to:
Most retail dealers "appear" to be abiding by Unilateral price policies dictated by manufactures.
Manufactures distributors are the manufactures enforcers of the policy.
The role of the local manufactures sales representative is to provide “Special Incentives” for some large retailers.
Hay, they do it in Mexico as a normal way of doing business.
Wal-mart of course ignores almost all unilateral pricing and all other restrictions imposed ostensibly on and applying to ALL retailers.
Unilateral Pricing Detail: (source Wikpedia)
A Unilateral Policy, 'Colgate Policy', or "Unilateral Minimum Retail Price Policy" is a form of Resale price maintenance within the United States based upon the Supreme Court's ruling in U. S. v. Colgate & Co. , 250 U.S. 300 (1919), A Unilateral Policy enables a manufacturer to influence the price at which its distributors and dealers resell its products to consumers without agreeing with resellers on price and thereby illegally price fixing.
Beginning with the Sherman Act in 1890 which banned, "every contract, combination …, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade" price fixing by the manufacturer was held to be illegal. In Dr. Miles Medical Co. v. John D. Park and Sons, 220 U.S. 373 (1911), the United States Supreme Court affirmed a lower court's holding that a massive minimum resale price maintenance scheme was unreasonable and thus offended Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The decision rested on the assertion that minimum resale price maintenance is indistinguishable in economic effect from naked horizontal price fixing by a cartel.
Subsequent decisions characterized Dr Miles as holding that minimum resale price maintenance is unlawful per se - that is, without regard to its impact on the marketplace or consumers. While vertical price agreements remained taboo, in 1919 the Supreme Court in United States v. Colgate & Co., recognized the manufacturer's right to deal with whomever it wanted, and as importantly, its right to refuse to deal.
This distinction allowed manufacturers to announce terms under which they would deal with their resellers and then refuse to deal with those who failed to comply.
Colgate's progeny in 1984 further built upon this right in Monsanto Company v. Spray-Rite Service Company, stating that, "under Colgate, the manufacturer can announce its re-sale prices in advance and refuse to deal with those who fail to comply, and a distributor is free to acquiesce to the manufacturer's demand in order to avoid termination".
Colgate policies, are independently adopted and announced by the manufacturer. The manufacturer, without any agreement with the reseller, announces a minimum resale price and refuses to make further sales to any reseller fails to sell at or above the announced price. There is no contract and the parties do not agree on the price.
Aside from suggesting retail prices or having the reseller act as an agent of the manufacturer and sell the goods on consignment, until the 2007 Leegin Creative Leather Products v. PSKS, Inc. decision a Unilateral Policy was the only way that a manufacturer could directly influence reseller's retail price without subjecting itself to per se liability for price fixing.
In a new post I will explain another form of retail price maintenance known to retailers as Minimum Advertized Pricing, aka (MAP)