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Submission + - SCOTUS Case May End Sale Prices

An anonymous reader writes: If you own a mom & pop store, and can't get rid of some of your inventory, you can always clear out some shelf space by holding a sale. If the Supreme Court sides with business interests in a case they heard today, however, such sales may no longer be possible.

Since 1911, it has been illegal for manufacturers to force retailers into price manipulating agreements that forbid the retailer from selling the manufacturer's product for less than a certain price. This means that individual retailers get to decide how much they sell their products for, and the market gets to decide what the prices should be. Today, however, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case seeking to overturn this longstanding rule. Should the Court do so, it would drive up consumer prices as retailers could be forced into agreements that prevent them from offering discounts or trying to offer lower prices than their competitors. This case is particularly salient in the era of internet shopping. Thanks to Google, consumers are now able to shop around to multiple retailers and find the best price for whatever goods they are seeking. If the Supreme Court overturns the 1911 ban on price floors, internet consumers would no longer have this advantage.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead