Just how do grocery stores choose what products to carry? They ask the manufacturer, of course. This Note discusses supermarket implementation of Category Management through the use of Category Captains. Category Management is a methodology by which firms can make educated decisions as to the appropriate assortment of products to carry, and the proper means to shelve, price, and promote those products. A Category Captain is a single preferred manufacturer selected by a retailer to perform Category Management work for its own and its competitors' products. This Note discusses how certain implementations of the retailer-Category Captain relationship may be anticompetitive and the related antitrust implications. Specifically, this Note addresses resale price maintenance agreements under Section I of the Sherman Act, unilateral anticompetitive conduct by a Category Captain under Section 2 of the Sherman Act, and price discrimination under the Robinson-Patman Act.
Leo S. Carameli Jr.,
The Anti-Competitive Effects and Antitrust Implications of Category Management and Category Captains of Consumer Products,
Chi.-Kent L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cklawreview/vol79/iss3/35