Originally published in Law360 on November 29, 2012.
The Federal Trade Commission sought public comment Wednesday on updating 20-year-old guidelines governing a much maligned price discrimination law, but attorneys questioned whether the antitrust watchdog should bother revising rules for a law it has largely stopped enforcing.
The FTC put its so-called Fred Meyer Guides on how to avoid violating the Robinson-Patman Act up for public consultation as part of its broader review of all its rules and guidelines, asking whether the guides were still needed and how to update them to address the changes the Internet has wrought to the manufacturing and retail industries. The law amended the Clayton Act in 1936 to target anti-competitive price discrimination, with the goal of protecting small retailers and suppliers from larger rivals.
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