According to Nikon Rumors, Nikon has introduced a new Unilateral Pricing Policy on DSLR gear sold in the US that will take effect on October 16th. Saying that the policy is “designed to allow customers to make purchasing decisions based on service provided and not have to worry about hunting for a better price”, Nikon plans to withhold sales to any store caught pricing equipment below “national prices” that the company will set for each product.
Unilateral Policy is a method by which manufactures can control retail prices in the US. While forcing resellers to agree upon specific prices explicitly would constitute illegal price fixing, companies do have the right to refuse sales to any reseller caught selling products at prices below what the manufacturer wants.
For photographers in the US, this new policy means that there soon won’t likely be much difference in price regardless of where you shop. It’s something that’s terrific for small business owners struggling to stay competitive against larger stores, but bad news for photography enthusiasts looking for a sweet deal.