Is it legal to post prices of certain foods from local supermarkets on a website without consent?

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Is it legal to post prices of certain foods from local supermarkets on a website without consent?

I am creating a website that compares local supermarket prices of certain foods. Do I need consent fro the supermarket to post their prices or can I walk into a supermarket write down the prices and put them on my site. Do I also need consent to write a review of their site?

Asked on October 28, 2010 under Business Law, Maryland

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I think that it would be fine as long as you do not favor one market over the other and treat all fairly.  The prices are "out in the public" and a review is often considered free speech.  In fact it is all probably protected under the first amendment in one way or another.  You have a write to critique a store and their prices and probably their website as all these "things" are out there for the world to see.  It isn'tlike you are trying to reveal McDonald's secret sauce on the Big Mac.  I would make sure that your comments are tasteful, not attacking or in any way harassing of the markets.  You can be honest and still be professional.  Good luck.   


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