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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Default Can You Require Customers to Buy an Unwanted Product to Get a Desired Product

    A business in California is trying to reduce its inventory of slow-moving products, and has placed a lot of pressure on its salespeople to sell the slow-moving products. Some of the salespeople are requiring that their customers purchase the slow-moving products in order to obtain the products that they really want, refusing sales of only the desired product. Is that legal, or does it violate antitrust laws?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Can You Require Customers to Buy an Unwanted Product to Get a Desired Product

    Under antitrust law, including the federal Sherman Antitrust Act, a tying arrangement can constitute an antitrust violation. That occurs when a buyer is required to purchase a second product along with the first product, the one that they actually want, but it is only an antitrust issue when the seller has sufficient market power to restrain competition in the marketplace for the second product. (This was the issue that Microsoft faced when it was accused of antitrust for bundling Internet Explorer with windows, placing competing browsers at a competitive disadvantage.) So the practice is not necessarily unlawful, but under what is deemed a qualified per se rule, the practice may potentially be deemed anticompetitive and an antitrust violation depending upon the full facts and the impact of the practice on the market.

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