resale price maintenance

Measures taken by manufacturers or distributors to control the resale prices of their products (i.e., the prices charged by businesses that resell them). Such measures have been applied to a limited array of goods, including pharmaceuticals, books, photographic supplies, and liquor. Resale price maintenance first began to be employed in the 1880s, reflecting the success of brand promotion and the resulting increase in competition among retailers. It became especially common in the U.S. but declined after World War II. It is prohibited in some countries. The complexity of marketing channels in industrialized countries makes it increasingly difficult for manufacturers to establish and enforce a single price or even a minimum price for their goods. Seealso fair trade law.

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Public or private organization providing comprehensive medical care to subscribers on the basis of a prepaid contract. HMOs deliver a broad range of health services for a fixed fee. In the prepaid group-practice model, physicians are organized into a group practice with one insuring agency. A medical care foundation, or individual practice association, usually involves multiple insurance companies and reimburses members of a loose network of individual physicians from subscribers' prepaid fees. Originally viewed as a way to control health-care costs and meet increased demand for health services, HMOs have become controversial because some limit care by refusing to pay for tests or treatment against their own doctors' advice.

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