Maryland

In 2009, Maryland passed a law making MAP programs illegal, as part of their overall Anti-Trust legislation.  This law went into effect on October 1, 2009.   Here is a Wall Street Journal article about this new law - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124087840110661643.html

So far, while there has been much talk about up to 30 other states following suit, not much has actually happened since then.  There certainly are rumors that something may happen, but no MAP program we know of has been rescinded in the face of these legal threats to their existence.

One of the reasons there is doubt about Maryland's ability to enforce this law has to do with this thing called the Commerce Clause, and the other part has to do with jurisdiction and actual victims.  If the manufacturers, retailers, or consumers don't reside in Maryland, how could the law apply?

They key issue with Maryland's law is that it cites that "retailers" are against this.  Namely, Wal-Mart, Target, Sears and other very large retailers whose loss-leader discounting is the underlying reason manufacturer's are forced to use MAP programs.  It could be argued that instead of focusing on fairness for the consumer, they legislators should include the fairness to independent retailers who can be destroyed by larger companies giving products away for a long enough period of time to depress profits permanently on a product line.  It is an anti-competitive action that should be reviewed under current Anti-Trust laws, but seldom is.

The bottom line is that millions of jobs outside of the big-box stores are at stake, and we all know that SMALL business is the primary driver of job growth.  Giving Big Business another unfair advantage by eliminating MAP programs that protect manufacturers and independent retailers is not the answer - it actually exacerbates the real problem.  Deep discounting is not sustainable, and is destructive to American manufacturers - and those manufacturer's should have the right to maintain minimum retail prices in order to stay in business, and continue employing more Americans.