When searching for information on the web one thing you need to ensure is the reliability of the information, but once you have combated that you also need to look at its relevance. I came across this problem today when looking at a US report about Apple retailing in Japan. Although the article was factual, many of the comments were ignoring the context and trying to apply the situation to their own experience. When searching the web many of the articles you will find (in English) will have American authors so you need to make sure that what they are saying is applicable here in the UK. I have already addressed the issue of copyright law in some detail, but here is another one.

Resale (or Retail) Price Maintenance (RPM)

Resale price maintenance is the practice where a manufacturer (or wholesaler) and retailers agree that the latter will sell at certain prices or set a minimum or maximum price. If a reseller refuses to maintain prices, the supplier will stop doing business with it. A minimum price is the usual case.

It is illegal in the UK (Resale Prices Act 1964) except where proven to be in the public interest e.g. for books (Net Book Agreement). Suppliers may propose a Recommended Retail Price but cannot legally enforce it. Although the benefit to customers has been seen in much lower prices due to competition, the unexpected effect has been the emergence of large market-powerful retailers such as supermarkets at the expense of smaller local shops and grass-roots suppliers such as farmers.

It is generally permitted in the US (2007 Supreme Court Judgement) and most other places in the world but it is constantly under debate.

A grey market is the trade of a commodity through channels which, while legal, are unofficial, unauthorized, or unintended by the original manufacturer. The main type of grey market is imported manufactured goods that would normally be unavailable or more expensive in a certain country. The measures that manufacturers can use to try to limit grey market supplies are restricted within EU borders by competition law but are mostly legal across other borders. Techniques tried include stop of supply to the source, loss of warranty to the end user, labelling regulations and trademark enforcement. DVD region codes are a technological way used to (try to) restrict grey imports. eBay and other online markets have a reputation of removing listings at the request of manufactures or agents without much investigation sometimes assuming that they are counterfeit goods.

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