Contrary to the belief of many of today’s businesspeople, antitrust law’s coverage of distribution did not start with Amazon or even the Internet. For decades, manufacturers have sold their products to resellers of all types to increase the distribution of their products. Manufacturers always have been interested in how their products, often with their brands, are resold. They often have tried to dictate or influence the pricing and marketing tactics of their resellers.
Since 1890, US federal antitrust law has been there every step of the way, drawing the line between permissible and impermissible restraints. The 2020 edition of Cernak’s Antitrust in Distribution and Franchising summarizes where those lines are today.
In just over one hundred pages, the book provides concise, plain English coverage of all the antitrust topics manufacturers and retailers—and their representatives—need to understand. Businesspeople can quickly get up to speed on potential distribution options. Libraries can provide their users, especially students, an efficient way to start their research. Generalist lawyers can review summaries of the key principles and cases necessary to assist their clients.
Finally, seasoned antitrust practitioners will appreciate the coverage of the latest cases as the book is updated every year. This year’s version benefited tremendously from the research assistance of Bona Law attorney Luis Blanquez, who not only researched the latest US cases but provided his perspective on them from his practice on both sides of the Atlantic.
The book starts with basic antitrust principles and terminology to ensure all readers understand the fundamental concepts. It then covers antitrust law’s evolving coverage of both price and non-price restraints that manufacturers place on their retailers. It then explains the law’s approaches to tying and similar arrangements plus monopolization issues that arise in the distribution context.
Unlike other treatments, the book covers the “forgotten but not gone” Robinson-Patman price discrimination law and the ways, including new cases, in which it still affects distribution decisions today. Finally, the book describes the need-to-know details of state antitrust laws and franchising.
Decades of practical distribution advice based on more than a century of antitrust caselaw distilled to a small package of understandable text—the 2020 edition of Antitrust in Distribution and Franchising by Bona Law partner Steve Cernak is available in the LexisNexis online store today.