Robinson-Patman Act


Robinson-Patman Act
Robinson-Patman Act of 1936 (Robinson-Patman Act)
USA
A federal statute (15 U.S.C. §§ 13a-f) that amends Section 2 of the Clayton Act to bar certain anti-competitive price discrimination. The Robinson-Patman Act is particularly aimed at preventing large buyers from exerting economic power to force suppliers to sell to them at prices lower than smaller, independent businesses. In general, the Robinson-Patman Act prohibits a supplier from selling goods of like grade and quality to two or more buyers at about the same time at different prices, if those sales injure competition. Both the supplier and a buyer who knowingly induces or receives the benefit of discriminatory prices may be held liable under the statute.
In addition to direct price discrimination, the Robinson-Patman Act also prohibits certain indirect methods such as discrimination in granting promotional allowances and benefits, and unlawful brokerage payments.
Both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may enforce the Robinson-Patman Act. However, the DOJ abandoned enforcement decades ago, and the FTC, which once was an active enforcer of the statute, has brought very few Robinson-Patman cases in recent years. Claims under the Robinson-Patman Act are now most commonly raised in lawsuits between private parties.
For more information on the Robinson-Patman Act, see Practice Note, US Antitrust Laws: Overview (www.practicallaw.com/9-204-0472).

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

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  • Robinson, Joseph T — ▪ American lawyer and politician born Aug. 26, 1872, near Lonoke, Ark., U.S. died July 14, 1937, Washington, D.C.       American lawyer and legislator, a major figure in the enactment of New Deal legislation. He represented Arkansas in the U.S.… …   Universalium


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