I am a wholesaler. Can I refuse to sell a retailer my merchandise because I have customer in the area that buys large quantities of merchandise?

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I am a wholesaler. Can I refuse to sell a retailer my merchandise because I have customer in the area that buys large quantities of merchandise?

The original long standing customer wants me to sell exclusive to its business and the new customer wants to sue my co. for refusal to sell to her. The new customer use to work for the old customer and is now her competitor.

Asked on May 12, 2009 under Business Law, Maryland

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You should discuss this situation with a Maryland business lawyer as soon as possible, and before you take any further action one way or another.  One place to find qualified counsel is on our website, http://attorneypages.com

There are a number of facts, beyond what's in your question, that your lawyer will need to know.  Some of these will include what kind of merchandise you're selling, and what effect your refusal to sell would have on your prospective new customer.  Anti-trust law, and laws protecting people from unfair competitive practices, are complex, and you should absolutely not try to find your way through that maze on your own.


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