Everybody loves a deal. With the holidays around the corner, consumers make a lot of effort to stretch their dollars. That’s why I’m the sponsor of the Discount Pricing Consumer Protection Act, which was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee today. I’m pleased that the committee’s vote brought us one step closer to protecting consumers and making products more affordable in both good times and bad.
For decades, the law prevented major manufacturers from dictating minimum retail prices for their products. This prohibition applied broadly to everyday consumer goods that we all enjoy and allowed retailers to offer discounts. In 2007, the United States Supreme Court examined this rule in the Leegin case, overturning the ban on vertical price fixing. That Supreme Court decision allows manufacturers in most circumstances to set a minimum price that the stores must charge for their products. Stores are then forced to adopt those minimum prices and are prohibited from discounting, causing consumers to pay more.
My bill would overturn the Supreme Court’s Leegin decision, ensuring that stores can sell products at a discounted rate, helping consumers save more of their hard earned money. I am joined in this effort by many of my colleagues. Additionally, this legislation has been endorsed by 38 of the nation’s state attorneys general, numerous large and small businesses, consumer groups and antitrust experts. As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, consumer protection is one of my highest priorities and I will continue my work on behalf of consumers in Wisconsin and nationwide.