restraint of trade
1. action tending to interrupt the free flow of goods and services, as by price fixing and other practices that have the effect of reducing competition. (Source: Dictionary.com; italic emphasis added.)
Here’s an offer from amazon.com to ship cross-border—USA to Canada—though undoubtedly, the FREE Shipping will need to be adjusted.
WOW! $2,800.00 S&H for an item costing $247.03?! Makes one ask—Could this restrain trade?
I confess—it did.
And now we might ask—Is this a strategy to protect the profit-turf of a sister or brother corp in a “foreign” country? OR is it just one more S&H software glitch which is, admittedly, far from exclusive to amazon?
“Address exclusion”1 is another way to hinder online, cross-border shopping (observed with several BIG corps not too long ago), but S&H seems pretty useful, too. My “free flow of goods” abruptly hit the brick (or is it snow?) wall of trade-OFF. Could we argue that S&H is one of those “other practices” in that restraint of trade definition?
This isn’t the first time “foreigners” have encountered AMAZing S&H assessments just to cross a border, but so far (for us) this S&H takes the cake. It’s free shipping to any nearby U.S. border town, BUT (apparently) $2,800.00 USD to get my $247.03 item 15 miles further north to me.
It must cost more than we ever imagined to crampon-up that massive snow cliff that defines the Canadian border, and then to rent that sled and all those huskies!! Who would have thought?
OH! Right. Adam Smith, 1776.
People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. (The Wealth of Nations, p. 148—I.X.I)