Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs
I thought price fixing was against the law.
It was until about 2007 in the U.S., when the Dr. Miles
case was ruled on by the Supreme Court and it was determined that retail price maintenance agreements were no longer per se illegal, but had to be judged accordingly. Prior to that, there had been a slow erosion of laws established in the Depression to protect small retailers from the price cutting tactics of large ones (similar to what we have today but replace small and large with brick-and-mortar and internet). (EDIT: This post mischaracterizes what happened in 2007 as that was the year Dr. Miles
was overturned, not ruled upon. Therefore this post is misleading... See this one: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post21742958
for more detail)
Today, a company can argue that it's retail price maintenance serves a purpose -- for example making it possible for Best Buy to justify carrying its products would be a legitimate purpose.
Anyway, enough history. Bottom line, there are no longer many rules and so these practices will be able to be instituted. However, if too many manufacturers look to punish rule breakers, I suspect you'll see a backlash with threats of new legislation and / or antitrust action.