Price Discrimination Regulations

Prescription Drugs

The Unfair Discrimination in Drug Pricing statute (S. 100.31, Wis. Stats.) requires that wholesalers treat all purchasers (persons who engage primarily in selling drugs directly to consumers) equally. The law provides that:

  • "Every seller shall offer drugs… to every purchaser in this state, with all the rights and privileges accorded by the seller to the most favored purchaser, including purchase prices for similar volume purchases, rebates, free merchandise, samples and similar trade concessions."

  • Wholesalers may grant discounts for volume purchases.

Penalties for violations of the Unfair Discrimination in Drug Pricing include:

  • Civil forfeitures of not less than $100 nor more than $10,000 for each offense.

  • Any purchaser damaged by violations may sue for treble damages.

Other Price Discrimination Regulations

The Trade Practices Section administers three industry-specific trade practice regulations that prohibit price discrimination:

  • Chapter ATCP 102, Subchapter I, Wis. Adm. Code, "Fermented Malt Beverages" prohibits brewers from discriminating in price to wholesalers.

  • Chapter ATCP 102, Subchapter II, Wis. Admin Code, "Soda Water Beverages"

    • Prohibits discrimination in the price at which sold.

    • Prohibits furnishing, selling, giving lending, or renting any equipment for the storage, display, or dispensing of soda water beverages; except under certain conditions.

    • Prohibits discrimination in furnishing of advertising, promotional or other services.

  • Chapter ATCP 102, Subchapter III, Wis. Adm. Code, "Motor Fuel" prohibits suppliers and wholesalers of motor vehicle fuel from discriminating in price to their retailers.

All three regulations are adopted under the authority of s. 100.20, Wis. Statutes, "Methods of competition and trade practices," otherwise known as the state's "Little FTC Act."

Penalties for violating any of the three listed regulations may include agency issued special orders and court issued injunctions. In addition, any person suffering pecuniary losses because of a violation of a previously issued agency order or injunction may sue for double damages.

Enforcement Activities

For further information or to file a complaint please contact the Trade Practices staff at (608) 224-4925 or (608) 224-4989 or (608) 224-4992.

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