Washington Law Review


A manufacturer's suggestion of resale prices to dealers is an example of price-affecting conduct which is said to create no antitrust liability despite the fact that liability would result from identical conduct if the parties were horizontally related. This article argues that permitting parties to tamper with the price term in any fashion risks contravention of the policies behind the antitrust laws, and that making the antitrust consequence turn on whether the parties appear to be related vertically or horizontally is not an intelligible way of minimizing that risk. In conclusion it is recommended that suggested prices should be presumptively illegal. Because this recommendation is a significant departure from prevailing doctrine, it will be helpful to note first the techniques by which vertical conduct affects resale prices, and then to sketch the history of legal doctrine relating to that conduct.

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