FTC Approves Final Order Barring Anticompetitive Conduct among Barcode Resellers

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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved final orders settling charges that two Internet resellers of UPC barcodes, which are used by retailers to scan prices and maintain inventories, invited competitors to join in a collusive scheme to raise the prices they charged for the barcodes.

According to the FTC’s complaints, the resellers, who sold barcodes on the secondary market, violated the Federal Trade Commission Act by repeatedly inviting competitors to collude to raise prices.

Under the orders, InstantUPCCodes.com and its principal, Jacob J. Alifraghis; and 680 Digital, Inc., d/b/a Nationwide Barcode, and its principal, Philip B. Peretz, are barred from communicating with competitors about barcode rates or prices; seeking or participating in an agreement with any competitor to divide markets, allocate consumers, or fix prices; and urging any competitor to raise, fix, or maintain prices or limit or reduce the terms or levels of service they provide.   

The Commission vote approving the final order was 5-0. (FTC File No. 141 0036; the staff contact is Matthew Accornero, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-3102.)

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust@ftc.gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, Room CC-5422, Washington, DC 20580. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on , follow us on , and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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