- Suppliers must not try to stop resellers selling goods or services below a minimum price.
- Resellers must not ask suppliers to stop the reseller’s competitors from discounting or selling below a minimum price.
What the ACCC does
- We take reports about suppliers imposing minimum prices.
- We investigate and take court action against suppliers that try to impose minimum resale prices.
What the ACCC can't do
- We don’t intervene directly in disputes between businesses.
It's illegal for suppliers to impose minimum prices for the resale of their goods or services.
For example, suppliers must not:
- set minimum prices in formal policies or agreements
- offer retailers a discount if they sell at or above a minimum price
- refuse to supply retailers that sell below a minimum price
- punish retailers for selling below a set price, for example, by taking away a discount or sending a warning.
This is known as resale price maintenance.
Resale price maintenance is illegal because it stops retailers competing on price, increasing what consumers pay.
It's also illegal for resellers to ask suppliers to stop competitors selling below a minimum price.
Example of resale price maintenance
A jewellery wholesaler gives retailers a list of recommended prices.
It offers a 10% discount to retailers who pay their accounts on time, but the discount isn't available if the retailer sells the jewellery for less than the recommended prices.
The discount is taken away from the retailer if they sell the jewellery for less than the price recommended by the wholesaler. This is resale price maintenance and is illegal.
- Suppliers can recommend appropriate prices, for example, by providing a recommended resale price (RRP) list.
- Suppliers can set a maximum retail price.
- Suppliers can refuse to supply resellers that engage in loss leader selling. This occurs when a business buys products from a supplier and intends to resell those products below cost to promote the business, or to attract customers so they will buy other goods or services.
A supplier wanting to engage in resale price maintenance can seek an exemption from the ACCC by:
These are exemption processes and give protection from legal action. The supplier needs to show that the behaviour is in the public interest.
If lodging a notification, see Resale price maintenance notification guidelines for more information.
Notifications that are submitted to the ACCC are listed on the resale price maintenance notifications register with the status and outcome.
- Section 48 Resale price maintenance
- Section 96 Acts constituting engaging in resale price maintenance
- Section 96A Resale price maintenance in relation to services
- Section 97 Recommended prices
- Section 98 Withholding the supply of goods
- Section 99 Statements as to the minimum price of goods
- Section 100 Evidentiary provisions.
Are you a business and have a problem with a supplier engaging in resale price maintenance?