Pricing, Distribution, and Managing Trade Relationships


Crowell & Moring offers real-world, practical antitrust advice to retail industry clients regarding their pricing practices, distribution chains, and other business issues that can arise when managing relationships with customers, suppliers, licensors, licensees, and competitors.

Retail industry clients of all kinds—from international, national, and regional brick-and-mortar retailers to pure-play online e-commerce operators—regularly call on us for counseling and advice on a wide range of issues, including:

  • Pricing practices, strategies, and policies, including MAP or other resale pricing policies
  • Distribution issues and managing relationships with suppliers, customers, licensors, and licensees
  • Drafting, reviewing, and negotiating distributorship, sales representation, supply, and franchise agreements and programs
  • Participation in trade associations and other industry collaborations
  • Compliance policy and program implementation, counseling, and training
  • Representation in government investigations as well as government and private litigation
  • Domestic and cross-border collaborations, joint ventures, and M&A transactions

Clients regularly turn to our lawyers to provide customized advice, training, and representation in these areas to help them achieve their specific commercial goals while minimizing antitrust risk and maximizing compliance. Our attorneys have extensive experience working with national and international clients on domestic and cross-border pricing, distribution, and trade-relationship management matters, and combine in-depth sector knowledge with local experience and international best practices.

And when disputes arise, our clients look to our skilled and experienced lawyers for representation in antitrust and competition litigation, trade secrets litigation, and white-collar criminal defense in addition to general litigation.

Representative Matters

  • Advising an online retailer in connection with a proposed FTC rulemaking.
  • Counseling a nationwide consumer products company with regard to an FTC antitrust investigation.
  • Defended an international retailer in consumer class action litigation alleging federal antitrust violations against all major retailers in the relevant industry.
  • Represented a retailer in defense of an industry-wide case alleging minimum resale price agreements among department stores and cosmetics manufacturers for prestige cosmetics and fragrances.
  • Provided antitrust counseling on a variety of distribution issues relevant to retailers, including distribution agreements, resale price maintenance and minimum advertised pricing, bundling and discounting, and price discrimination.
  • Advised retailers in connection with merger and acquisition reviews by government agencies.