gpilling - 6:20 pm on Jan 5, 2011 (gmt 0)
I have been a manufacturer with a MAP program, a ecommerce seller that has to deal with MAP from my suppliers, and I have had to get lawyers involved to protect myself from a manufacturer that wanted to sue me over MAP. For ecommerce, I am pro-MAP because I would rather compete with other sites based on SEO, better ads, knowledgeable phone support etc and still make some money. From a manufacturer's point of view I am pro-MAP because my dealers can spend a lot more on Adwords and the like which ultimately increases the exposure of my brand by a lot.
I learned a lot about the concept of "first sale doctrine" during my adventure with the lawyers. Essentially, if you bought something it is yours. No manufacturer can tell you that you can sell a widget for half price if you already own it. The manufacturer can never sell you one again, but he can't remove your rights to dispose of it how you please. Exceptions to this rule have been seen with Amazon and kindle books, but in cases like that the purchaser has signed an agreement. I personally have never had to sign an agreement like that for wholesaling product, and it would fail the logic test anyway (you could never have a bankruptcy sale for less than retail price, for example)
This is not true. I can take all the pictures I want of my Toyota. I could even light it on fire. It is MINE. What I can't do is pretend that I represent Toyota.
If you take a picture of you and your friends in front of your Toyota jumping up and down because it hit 300k miles. If Toyota doesn't like you Totyota can take your picture and possibly get damages.
I have been told by manufacturers reps who deal with Amazon that the big A has bots that scour the internet for pricing information and automatically lower their pricing to match - even if it violates MAP or goes down to cost. This has caused the manufactures a lot of headaches, especially in two-step distribution (manufacturer->wholesaler->dealer) since they can't effectively control the dealer through the wholesaler. If the wholesaler cuts off the dealer then the dealer gets it somewhere else. It becomes a game of whack-a-mole, and the end result is that the wholesaler loses the dealer business for that line, plus all the other lines that they bought from them. Thus, a wholesaler has a large disincentive to enforce a manufacturers MAP program.
In the end, I will re-state that I am pro-MAP. It can become quite a sticky mess in some cases though.