Ben Jervey, an important mentor to me, succinctly argues against the Earth Hour cause. He argues that turning off your lights for an hour once per year is a frivilous, too-little/too-late act that has no consequences at all.
Colluding on price amongst competitors, also known as horizontal price fixing, is viewed as a per se violation of the Sherman Act regardless of the market impact or alleged efficiency of the action. In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that vertical price fixing by a manufacturer and its retailers, also known as retail price maintenance, is not a per se violation.
Under American law, exchanging prices among competitors can also violate the antitrust laws. This includes exchanging prices with either the intent to fix prices or if the exchange affects the prices individual competitors set. Proof that competitors have shared prices can be used as part of the evidence of an illegal price fixing agreement. Experts generally advise that competitors avoid even the appearance of agreeing on price.
In Canada, it is an indictable criminal offence under section 45 of the Competition Act. Bid rigging is considered a form of price fixing and is illegal in both the United States (s.1 Sherman Act) and Canada (s.47 Competition Act). In the United States, agreements to fix, raise, lower, stabilize, or otherwise set a price are illegal per se. It does not matter if the price agreed upon is reasonable or for a good or altruistic cause; or if the agreement is explicit and formal or unspoken and tacit. In the United States, price-fixing also includes agreements to hold prices the same, discount prices (even if based on financial need or income), set credit terms, agree on a price schedule or scale, adopt a common formula to figure prices, banning price advertising, or agreeing to adhere to prices that one announces. Although price fixing usually means sellers agreeing on price, it can also include agreements among buyers to fix the price at which they will buy products.
Price fixing is illegal in Australia under the Trade Practices Act, the provisions of which are broadly similar to the US and Canadian prohibitions. The Act is administered and enforced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
British competition law prohibits almost any attempt to fix prices.
The Net Book Agreement was a public agreement between UK booksellers from 1900 to 1991 to sell new books only at the recommended retail price, in order to protect the revenues of smaller bookshops. The agreement collapsed in 1991 when the large book chain Dillons began discounting books, followed by rival Waterstones.
However, price-fixing is still legal in the magazine and newspaper distribution industry. Retailers who sell at below cover price are subject to withdrawal of supply. The Office of Fair Trading has given its approval to the status quo.
From their split with Boy’s Life on Modern Method Records, I give you a true Boston punk artifact. Guitarist Rick Barton helped to start a little band from around here you may have heard of, the Dropkick Murphys.