Source: Wisconsin Examiner

The Unfair Sales Act was originally enacted in 1939 to prevent large competitors with extensive resources from moving into a market; discounting prices and selling goods at a loss until they drove out independent local retailers who couldn’t afford to cut their prices; then raising prices higher, ultimately hurting the consumer.

For many products, the law requires retailers to mark up the price of their goods by a certain percentage over the wholesale price, giving rise to its common nickname, “the minimum markup law.” For prescription drugs, the law doesn’t set a minimum markup, but instead forbids the retailer from selling the product below the cost that the retailer paid.

Testifying at a public hearing Tuesday before the Senate Committee on Governmental Operations, Legal Review & Consumer Protection, Rep. Adam Neylon (R-Pewaukee) said while that sort of protection might have made sense in the Great Depression, it was no longer applicable in a global economy populated by online discounters.