CCC RECAP: The Robinson-Patman Act Lurks

Why a decades-old law could threaten the foundation of many IT vendor partner programs
By T.C. Doyle

May’s Channelnomics Community Call focused on a little-known and seldom-enforced law that the Biden administration has resurrected to fight inflation and level the playing field for small companies that struggle to compete against industry giants. The law is the Robinson-Patman Act (RPA) of 1936.

First introduced to help small grocers combat the rise of grocery store chains, the law has been revived by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to look at suspected pricing abuses in the pharmaceutical and beverage industries. Should the FTC turn its eyes to IT, industry vendors would likely find themselves in a world of hurt. Why? Because vendors don’t generally structure their partner programs in line with FTC mandates.

Channelnomics recently unveiled a new report on the topic, “Inside...

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