The Robinson-Patman Act and Consumer Welfare: Has Volvo Reconciled Them?

Seattle University Law Review, Vol. 30, p. 349, 2007

27 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2009

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

This article analyzes the Supreme Court’s most recent Robinson-Patman case, Volvo v. Reeder-Simco, and shows that decision did not reconcile the Robinson-Patman Act with the other antitrust laws. In particular, it did not require a plaintiff in a secondary line R-P case (a case challenging discrimination among customers) to show that the discrimination reduced market wide competition. While the Court emphasized that the challenged conduct benefited competition and consumers, it offered this point as a reason to reject the expansive interpretation of the Act the plaintiff sought. Had the plaintiff brought a perfectly traditional secondary line case, the opinion indicates the Court would have analyzed it in the traditional way. The article bolsters this conclusion with discussions of the goals of the antitrust laws and the legal and economic significance of buyer power.

Suggested Citation

Kirkwood, John B., The Robinson-Patman Act and Consumer Welfare: Has Volvo Reconciled Them? (2007). Seattle University Law Review, Vol. 30, p. 349, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1416158

John B. Kirkwood (Contact Author)

Seattle University School of Law ( email )

901 12th Avenue, Sullivan Hall
P.O. Box 222000
Seattle, WA n/a 98122-1090
United States

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