Maryland Law Could Rewrite "Minimum Pricing" of Fly Gear

May 3, 2009 By: Marshall Cutchin

Thursday’s Wall Street Journal contained an interesting article about a new Maryland law that prohibits manufacturers from requiring retailers to charge minimum prices for their goods. As a tag-along to yesterday’s comments on the relative “priciness” of fly reels, the story tells how the new Maryland law could reach far beyond state boundaries, because it would apply to all online sales as well. So in theory someone buying a fly rod or reel from a fly shop in Michigan could not be forced to pay a manufacturer’s minimum price. Minimum pricing is popular in many industries, including fly fishing, because it protects margins. “By creating a new law that explicitly bans all minimum-pricing agreements between manufacturers and retailers, state legal experts say, Maryland is now able to pre-empt the high-court ruling. Legal experts say more than 30 other states that filed briefs with the Supreme Court could join Maryland in enacting such a law.” Article by Joseph Pereira.