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socrateaser
socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 37952
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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As a distributor of packaging goods I buy and resell to my

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As a distributor of packaging goods I buy and resell to my customers. I was given a special price for a million caps that I marked up and quoted a customer. The supplier has come back after the fact and advised they wish to retract the special price which is better then the price list. I then find out that this same special price was given to another distributor clearly showing that the manufacturer wishes to keep my company from getting the business. Would this be considered price fixing or some type of illegal fair market practice?
This is a straight breach of contract if the manufacturer refuses to honor the price after you have relied on it in quoting a customer, and the customer accepts your offer.

Otherwise, while you could argue that the deal represents a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act (exclusive dealing that tends to create a monopoly), it would be very difficult to prove, unless there are other distributors such as yourself and only one gets these deals. Then, you could make a reasonable argument that the manufacturer and its selected distributor is trying to drive all but one distributor out of the market and create a monopoly.

In my view, the better argument here is that (1) You were given a price; (2) you already have a deal with a customer; (3) retraction of the original price damages your profit margin; therefore the manufacturer must maintain the price or you will be forced to sue for the damages sustained by the manufacturer's retraction of the offer.

Hope this helps.

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