Sunday, December 7, 2008


This is a weirdly un-American story with a uniquely American twist. Something for everyone.

MAP is "minimum advertised price". "Manufacturers have been racing to enforce minimum-pricing policies since last year, when the Supreme Court ruled them to be legal, and not a violation of antitrust law. EBay and a group of other retailers and antitrust advocates are meeting Thursday in Washington to craft a strategy to overturn that ruling."

Manufacturers can set price minimums and retailers, especially online, need to respect them or risk sanctions, including loss of marketing dollars and referrals. My gut tells me that is wrong in an un-American, anti capitalist way.

The uniquely capitalist angle? A new industry has popped up to profit from the situation.

"MAP's proliferation has boosted business for NetEnforcers, a unit of Intersections Inc., of Chantilly, Va., and similar companies. Stuart Bennett, NetEnforcers' head of sales, says the Supreme Court ruling helped him land 40 new clients the past year, bringing the total to about 140. Rival firms include MAPtrackers Inc., Cyveillance Inc. and Brand Protection Agency."

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