The Robinson-Patman Ace prohibits price discrimination in the sale of goods within a supply chain. Price discrimination is defined as selling goods of like grade and quality to different distributors at different prices. The statute prohibiting price discrimination is quite complex and incorporates a number of potential defenses.
The price discrimination prohibition does not apply to services.
For many years, the enforcement agencies have put very few resources into price discrimination cases, believing that price discrimination may benefit consumers by creating more competition in retail markets.
The courts have also limited the applicability of the Robinson-Patman Act by requiring private plaintiffs to prove that they have suffered antitrust injury, that is injury arising from a restraint on competition. Since price discrimination often stimulates greater competition, plaintiffs often cannot show that they have suffered antitrust injury.