A look back.
Fifty-five years ago this week, President Harry S. Truman signed a
bill exempting manufacturers from antitrust violations for setting
retail prices that stores were required to accept. The McGuire Fair
Trade Act, passed to overcome the Supreme Court's ruling that
previous fair trade acts were unconstitutional, was hailed by
manufacturers as a boon to small retailers--since it forbade
"cut-price" retailers from underselling them--according to a
story in Retailing Daily on July 16, 1952. Some small retailers
supported the law, but "large department stores and discount houses
called it 'an outrage and completely un-American.'" By
1975, all remaining fair trade laws ended.