It's no coincidence that the digital camera you've got your eye on is exactly $199.99 at every shop you visit. For the last few years, manufacturers were legally allowed to set minimum prices for retailers. That helped keep profits up, but cut down on deals for the rest of us. Until now. The Wall Street Journal reports today that the state of Maryland banned minimum pricing, with more changes in the works.
A congressional subcommittee is scheduled to hold a hearing today in which several opponents of minimum-pricing agreements are expected to testify, including eBay Inc. and Federal Trade Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour.
Hearings are expected next month in the U.S. Senate on a bill called the Discount Pricing Consumer Protection Act. Introduced by Sen. Herb Kohl (D., Wis.), it is aimed at circumventing the Supreme Court's ruling and making minimum-pricing agreements between manufacturers and retailers illegal under federal law once again.
The Journal goes on to say that some 30 other states could pass their own versions of the Maryland law.