The US Court of Appeals in Colorado recently heard an anti-trust case involving a grocery chain selling below-cost petrol as part of a deal. The appeal court held that this did not constitute illegal bundling. In its judgment, it wrote:
Indeed, the plaintiffs’ reading would apparently render unlawful in the State of Colorado a promotional gimmick so common that it features in an episode from Seinfeld:
JERRY: “Atomic Sub”? Why are you eating there?
ELAINE: I got a card, and they stamp it every time I buy a sub. Twentyfour stamps, and I become a Submarine Captain!
JERRY: What does that mean?
ELAINE (embarrassed): Free sub.
Seinfeld: The Strike (NBC television broadcast Dec. 18, 1997). If the first twenty-four sandwiches are sold for $4 apiece at a cost to the maker of $3, the customer who follows through and redeems the offer will have spent $96 to buy $75 worth of sandwiches. But the last one is sold below cost (in fact, it is “free”), making it illegal under the plaintiffs’ version of the UPA.
Well I never. Doesn’t this open up the field on the type of evidence one can bring to a Court? This is going to suit me very well the next time I am an expert witness. All you have to consider is whether a particular legislature intended for an act in a TV program to be legit or not and you are done.