John R. Allison


The debate concerning the appropriateness of existing antitrust standards for distribution (vertical) restrictions continues unabated. Some observers have criticized current national antitrust policy, which treats vertical price restraints (usually referred to as either resale price maintenance or vertical price fixing) as per se illegal and vertical nonprice restraints as illegal only if found unduly anticompetitive under the rule of reason, as being seriously lacking in theoretical unity. These commentators usually contend that resale price maintenance, like vertical nonprice restraints, should be judged under the rule of reason. A few have even called expressly for a rule of per se legality for all forms of vertical restraint On the other hand, current policy toward vertical restrictions is not without scholarly support.