price-fixing. The artificial setting or maintenance of prices at a certain level, contrary to the workings of the free market. • Price-fixing is usu. illegal per se under antitrust law. See FIX(3).
[Cases: Monopolies 17(1.7). C.J.S. Monopolies §§ 83–85, 87.]
“Price-fixing agreements may or may not be aimed at complete elimination of price competition. The group making those agreements may or may not have the power to control the market. But the fact that the group cannot control the market prices does not necessarily mean that the agreement as to prices has no utility to the members of the combination. The effectiveness of price-fixing agreements is dependent on many factors, such as competitive tactics, position in the industry, the formula underlying price policies. Whatever economic justification particular price-fixing agreements may be thought to have, the law does not permit an inquiry into their reasonableness. They are all banned because of their actual or potential threat to the central nervous system of the economy.” United States v. Socony-Vacuum Oil Co., 310 U.S. 150, 225–26 n.59, 60 S.Ct. 811, 845 n.59 (1940).
horizontal price-fixing. Price-fixing among competitors on the same level, such as retailers throughout an industry. [Cases: Monopolies 17(1.7). C.J.S. Monopolies §§ 83–85, 87.]
vertical price-fixing. Price-fixing among parties in the same chain of distribution, such as manufacturers and retailers attempting to control an item’s resale price. [Cases: Monopolies 17(1.7). C.J.S. Monopolies §§ 83–85, 87.]
[Blacks Law 8th]