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The Federal Trade Commission has reopened and extended the deadline for the public to submit comments to aid in its review of the guidance it gives manufacturers and wholesalers as to how they can provide advertising allowances and other promotional payments and services to retailers without running afoul of the Robinson-Patman Act.  At the request of stakeholders, the deadline to submit comments will be extended from January 29 until March 4, 2013.

In November 2012, the FTC announced it was seeking public comments on its review and possible revision of the Guides, which are known as the “Fred Meyer Guides.”  The Robinson-Patman Act prohibits anticompetitive price discrimination and certain other kinds of business discrimination.  The Guides explain how suppliers can avoid unlawful discrimination under the Act by providing their advertising allowances and other promotional allowances and services to retailers on “proportionally equal terms.”

The Commission vote to reopen and extend the deadline was 4-0-1, with Chairman Jon Leibowitz not participating. Public comments can be submitted online or in paper form.  Instructions for submitting comments in paper form can be found in the Federal Register notice. All public comments received will be posted on the FTC’s website.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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