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THE MORTON AND INTERNATIONAL SALT CASES: DISCOUNTS ON SALES OF TABLE SALT

Antitrust Law and Economics

ISBN: 978-0-76231-115-6, eISBN: 978-1-84950-278-8

ISSN: 0193-5895

Publication date: 1 July 2004

Abstract

A study of the price discounts granted by Morton Salt Company and other producers of table salt in the U.S. on their sales of table salt to grocery wholesalers and retailers. The discounts were found to be illegal under the Robinson-Patman Act by the Federal Trade Commission and the Supreme Court. The Commission and the Court believed that the discounts were unjustified price concessions granted to “large” buyers, consistent with the concerns of the Robinson-Patman Act. However, the evidence indicates that the most common discount – the “carload discount” – was received by virtually all buyers, regardless of the buyer’s size; the other discounts – “annual volume” discounts – though received primarily by “large” buyers, were likely cost based. The history of the discounts and likely reasons why they were granted are explored in detail.

Citation

Peterman, J.L. (2004), "THE MORTON AND INTERNATIONAL SALT CASES: DISCOUNTS ON SALES OF TABLE SALT", Kirkwood, J.B. (Ed.) Antitrust Law and Economics (Research in Law and Economics, Vol. 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 127-275. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0193-5895(04)21004-1

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited