Federal law as well as many state competition laws require sellers of commodity products to offer all competing customers non-discriminatory pricing, as well as “proportionately equal” allowances, services, and other terms. Otherwise, competing sellers may be harmed. Further, buyers who induced and benefited from the discrimination may also face liability, since their competitors may also be harmed.
Evaluating conduct requires identifying price differences that do not reflect different costs in manufacture, sale, or delivery (including volume discounts), or were not offered to meet a competitor's price. Damages are determined by the actual harm to the plaintiff’s business, compared to its likely financial condition in a marketplace in which competition occurs without the alleged discriminatory pricing or terms.