resale price maintenance

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resale price maintenance (rpm)

a business practice whereby a supplier stipulates the PRICE at which his product is to be sold by retailers. By establishing a uniform retail price (that is, by preventing price cutting) the supplier may aim to ensure that his product is available through most retail outlets, as well as preserving the price-quality image of the product. On the other hand, in the absence of rpm, price competition between retailers may well increase the sales of the product. Rpm is virtually prohibited by UK COMPETITION POLICY on the grounds that it deprives consumers of the benefit of lower prices and gives too much protection to inefficient retailers. See OFFICE OF FAIR TRADING, RECOMMENDED RESALE PRICE, RESALE PRICES ACTS (1964,1976).

resale price maintenance (RPM)

a type of ANTICOMPETITIVE PRACTICE/RESTRICTIVE TRADE PRACTICE whereby a supplier prescribes the PRICE at which all retailers are to sell the product to final buyers. The main objection to RPM centres on the fact that it restricts or eliminates retail price competition, and by prescribing uniform retail margins it serves to cushion inefficient retailers.

The practice of RPM (except in very special circumstances) was made illegal in the UK in 1964, and this led to the rapid expansion of mass retailers such as supermarket chains who could afford to cut prices by BULK-BUYING. See also COMPETITION POLICY (UK), OFFICE OF FAIR TRADING, RECOMMENDED RETAIL PRICE, RESALE PRICES ACTS 1964,1976.