Legal Aspects of Pricing

Posted by Social Science Research Network

Legal Aspects of Pricing

By Jordan Kelner

Abstract:     This technical note explores some of the legal implications that companies face when deciding how to price their goods. It focuses on the three main federal antitrust laws: the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Clayton Antitrust Act, and the Robinson-Patman Act. By learning the basics of these antitrust laws, those who read this note will have a better idea of how to avoid violating these laws.

Excerpt

UVA-M-0856

Dec. 17, 2013

LEGAL ASPECTS OF PRICING

I. Introduction

A. Goals of This Technical Note

This technical note explores some of the legal implications that companies face when deciding how to price their goods. This note focuses on the three main federal antitrust laws: the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Clayton Antitrust Act, and the Robinson-Patman Act. By learning the basics of these antitrust laws, those who read this note will have a better idea of how to avoid violating these laws. To be clear, this note will not make you a legal expert. The purpose is not that you come to recognize every nuance of the law in this area, but that you develop an understanding of when you might want to seek legal counsel before making decisions about pricing. To that end, this note provides you with some specifics about what constitutes illegal pricing behavior and also helps you gain a broad understanding of the purpose of these laws.

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