What is involved in doing business under the present law concerning delivered prices? Since the ease or difficulty of doing business in accord with the law depends upon what the law permits and prohibits, to answer this question requires an assumption about what the law is. I shall assume that the scope of legally permissible action is that envisaged in the statement which the Federal Trade Commission issued to its staff and released to the public last October 12. This statement says, in effect, that businessmen are not required to sell f.o.b. mill or to adopt any particular form of pricing practice. They are free to meet competition individually or reciprocally so long as in doing so they are not endeavoring to create a monopoly or rigidly conforming to a trade practice to eliminate price competition. They are forbidden to engage in a price fixing conspiracy by use of a geographic pricing formula, to participate individually in the tacit continuance of such a conspiracy, and to use a pricing system which involves different delivered costs to buyers in different locations, if the result is to injure competition among sellers or buyers, and if the differences do not reflect differences in delivery expense. The law seeks to identify the point at which what is called meeting competition actually becomes a deliberate effort to get rid of competition. The law seeks to prevent price differences which injure competition but not to require that prices or mill net realizations shall be uniform.
Corwin D. Edwards,
DELIVERED PRICES: DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE PRESENT LAW,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol47/iss6/2