Guides Advise Businesses How to Avoid Illegal Discriminationin the Provision of Promotional Allowances and Services
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.
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