Will the FTC Reinvigorate an Antiquated Law that Raises Prices?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Congress are showing renewed interest in a Great Depression-era law, the Robinson-Patman Act, that discourages sales discounts. This is bad news for hard-strapped American consumers, who have had to cope with prices that have risen more than 20% since February 2020. As such, reinvigorated enforcement of the RPA, a statute that was designed to protect less-efficient small businesses from vigorous competition, appears hard to justify. The FTC may wish to consider the major downsides of RPA prosecutions before it takes action.

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