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June 28, 2007, 11:50 PM

Thanks for asking.

My take - apart from the idea of it all being on a case-by- case basis - the ruling does Not apply to the products from one supplier, but when there are a Competing Range of products.

E.g. You, as sole supplier, can set whatever Minimum Price you want your product to be sold at. And a Condition of doing business with you is the sellers Agreement to that.

Illegal. Commodity items like Gas. Now despite so-called investigations I doubt there is a person who doesn't think the price of gas is not fixed by those different companies who sell it. It's THIS kind of Minimum that I think the law was made to stop.

Like ALL doctors agreeing to a Minimum fee. All gas companies agreeing to a Minimum they sell gas for. All rival computer companies agreeing to a minimum they sell new computers for, and so on.

If HP, ACER, IBM, DELL et al, all agreed to a minimum, then THAT Would have been illegal under the old law. But what Minimum HP would have permitted of its own brand of computers would not have been illegal.

Now, back when the law was made - I assume we're talking American Steel days, - this was a problem, it seems...

Steel Co A would normally compete with Steel Co B. But seeing as they were then both Acquired by Carnegie Steel Trust America, the Trust would have a Monopoly and would thus set minimums the steel would be sold at - removing the nature of Competition.

What this all boils down to is simply this... if YOU have a single proprietary product you allow others to sell, YOU can set whatever Minimum Price and Sales Conditions you like. If the sellers don't like it they don't have to sell it.

If you had a product which was being sold by others - their own version - the agreeing to a minimum price to charge people would have been deemed wrong, under the law just over turned.

Hope that clears it up.

Michael Ross

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