The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rules that a consumer product manufacturer’s failure to offer all size of the product is not exposed to a claim of discrimination under the Robinson-Patman Act (Woodman’s Food Market / Clorox)

Does a consumer product manufacturer’s failure to offer all sizes of the product to all customers expose it to a claim of discrimination in providing “promotional services or facilities,” under the federal antitrust law known as the Robinson-Patman Act (“RPA”)? No, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Woodman’sFood Market, Inc. v. Clorox Co. [1] The case arose from a common fact pattern in grocery retailing: a supermarket operator notices that a “big box” retail competitor down the street is offering a particular product in a larger size than has been available to the supermarket, and asks the manufacturer to supply it with the same. The manufacturer refuses, explaining that the larger size is available only to the “club store” class of trade. The supermarket

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  • Baker Botts (Brussels)
  • Baker Botts (Washington)

Quotation

Paul Lugard, Jeffrey S. Oliver, The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rules that a consumer product manufacturer’s failure to offer all size of the product is not exposed to a claim of discrimination under the Robinson-Patman Act (Woodman’s Food Market / Clorox), 12 August 2016, e-Competitions August 2016, Art. N° 95106

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