"I'm surprised that the thousands of reporters dealing with Wal-Mart and its staggering growth never (and I repeat never)explain that Wal-Mart could not survive in business if its paid the same per-unit price for its inventory that its competitors pay. By obtaining lower per-unit prices (in alleged violation of the Robinson-Patman Act, which prohibits price discrimination), Wal-Mart is able to maintain lower retail prices and drive its competitors out of business. This is not "efficiency", but a failure of the government to enforce the antitrust statute designed to prohibit the evils resulting from this kind of prohibited business conduct".
Mr. Person is a Harvard trained antitrust attorney who wrote a book called SAVING MAIN STREET AND ITS RETAILERS. His website has quite a bit of advice on how to fight Wal-Mart.
APPENDIX C – Representations and Warranties Which a Community Should Require a Major Retailer to Sign as a Condition to Obtaining Requested Approval(s).Here he lists a number of interrogatories that a village or town board should require when dealing with a major retailer.
you might ask for a description of the controls to ensure that the applicant is not purchasing its goods at discriminatory or, worse, below-cost prices in violation of the Robinson-Patman Act or Sherman Act. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (2002) requires each public corporation to have an Audit Committee made up of independent individuals which committee makes sure the corporation is in compliance with various laws (where the violation of which could be materially adverse to the company’s financial interests), including the Robinson-Patman Act. It seems clear to me that none of the major retailers will be able to pass an audit of the issue of whether the manufacturers are selling to the major retailer at discriminatory, unlawful prices, and at prices which are below the manufacturers’ direct cost.