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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/resale-price-maintenance-advice-for-retailers/resale-price-maintenance-advice-for-retailers
What is resale price maintenance (RPM)?
RPM is where a supplier and a retailer agree that the retailer will not resell the supplier’s products below a specified price.
Recommended resale prices (RRP) to retailers are not RPM if the retailer can still resell at a price it wants and there are no threats or financial incentives for sticking to a RRP.
Why should you be careful if you are a retailer involved in an RPM agreement?
You may worry that if you do not co-operate with a supplier’s price-setting policies, they will stop doing business with you.
However, RPM agreements are usually unlawful because they prevent you from offering lower prices and setting your prices independently to attract more customers.
If you have been involved in RPM with your supplier, you may both be found to be breaking competition law.
Things to bear in mind
RPM can be indirect. You may still be involved in an unlawful RPM agreement where a supplier:
- imposes restrictions on how far you can discount its product
- prevents or limits your ability to advertise lower prices online (so-called ‘minimum advertised price policies’)
- has linked a resale price for the product to what other retailers are selling it for
Where the product is sold does not matter either. RPM can apply equally to sales online as it does to sales in shops.
Don’ts for retailers
Don’t agree with your suppliers to fixed or minimum retail prices.
Don’t exercise pressure on the supplier and other retailers to adhere to recommended resale prices.
If you have concerns about resale price maintenance or other anti-competitive behaviour you can contact the CMA online or by phone on 020 3738 6000.
If you have been involved yourself, you may even benefit from lenient treatment by coming forward to the CMA. Read more about applying for leniency for information about leniency benefits, eligibility and conditions.
Please note: this guide does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.