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Price fixing

Price fixing Definition

Any agreement between business competitors regarding price is considered price fixing and is illegal in many countries.

Methods of price fixing can include,

  • Agreements to adhere to a price book.
  • Agreements to engage in cooperative price advertising.
  • Agreements to standardize credit terms offered to purchasers.
  • Agreements to use uniform trade-in allowances.
  • Agreements to limit discounts.
  • Agreements to discontinue free service or to fix any other element of prices.
  • Agreements to adhere to previously announced prices and terms of sale.
  • Agreements establishing uniform costs and markups.
  • Agreements imposing mandatory surcharges.

American law is very specific that price fixing is only illegal if it happens via communication and specific agreement between firms. It is not illegal for firms to copy the price moves of a de facto market leader as is the case with prices of cereals and cigarettes. Critics say that this rule makes the government not able to stop the majority of price fixing which harms consumers.

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