Minimum-Price Policies Limit Retailer Discounts

By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Dec 24, 2008 11:37 AM CST
Kevin Jonas can likely afford to scoop up "Guitar Hero World Tour" as a holiday gift, but minimum prices set by its manufacturer means those looking for a discount won't find it.   (AP Images for XBox)
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(Newser) – Looking for a last-minute price break on the Guitar Hero World Tour Band Kit? Don’t hold your breath. The video game is one of many products retailers can’t discount without losing advertising dollars—or supplies—from the manufacturers, reports the Wall Street Journal. Such minimum-advertised-price policies were deemed legal in a controversial Supreme Court ruling last year, and manufacturers are taking advantage.

Such practices were previously viewed as anticompetitive and illegal, but the court approved the practice as a way to help guarantee that discounting didn’t tarnish a brand’s image. Increasingly, manufacturers have used it to set their prices, costing consumers more. Legislation to overturn the ruling is expected to be debated in Congress next year. Meantime, forget about bargain-hunting.