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Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 5:25 PM

Jason Hicks to speak on Antitrust Risks in E-Commerce Distribution CLE

On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, Jason C. Hicks from Womble Carlyle will participate in a CLE webinar entitled Antitrust Risks in E-Commerce Distribution: Avoiding RPM, MPA and other Antitrust Pitfalls in Online Sales and Pricing

Visit this website to register for the CLE webinar:

This CLE webinar will examine antitrust concerns for online retailers, distributors and manufacturers with direct to consumer e-commerce sales. The panel will also outline best practices to identify the potential for antitrust abuse and to avoid or minimize antitrust violations and liability.


Internet sales, pricing and distribution have transformed modern marketing practices. However, companies and their counsel must be aware of the impact of antitrust laws and regulations and the scrutiny of federal agencies on the behavior of suppliers and distributors.

Internet efficiencies allow consumers to quickly compare prices, making resale price maintenance (RPM) protections that limit the supplier/manufacturer's ability to control prices a key concern. Whether RPM practices are deemed illegal per se is a critical question, and the law remains unsettled.

Structuring policies that address minimum advertised price (MAP) restrictions on the Internet is challenging. It can be difficult to distinguish between an advertised price and a selling price, and Robinson-Patman disallows price discrimination between Internet and "brick and mortar" distributors.

Listen as our panel of experienced antitrust attorneys provides guidance on U.S. and state laws affecting RPM, MAP, Robinson-Patman, and other antitrust considerations affecting online sales, pricing and distribution. The panel will also discuss best practices for companies to minimize antitrust liability in e-commerce business practices.


I.E-commerce vs. traditional distribution

II.RPM (vertical price fixing)

III.MAP restrictions

IV.Robinson-Patman and other traditional distribution considerations

V.Best practices for avoiding Internet distribution antitrust problems


The panel will review these and other key questions:

•What are the challenges for online sellers in distinguishing between advertised prices and selling prices?

•What is the e-commerce impact of the different state law approaches to the issue of whether minimum RPMs are illegal per se?

•What steps can companies take to minimize antitrust exposure stemming from Internet distribution?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.

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