Subtitle: 
Don't let suppliers push your small business around

Small businesses and entrepreneurs are subject to antitrust laws just like large businesses. Antitrust laws generally discourage something called tying or bundling arrangements.

Important Tip Don't confuse sales where you sell two items together as a convenience or to offer a more economical bundle to a customer - illegal tying is only present when you are forcing a customer to take something it doesn't want.

What are tying arrangements.

A tying arrangement occurs when, through a contractual or technological requirement, a seller conditions the sale or lease of one product or service on the customer's agreement to take a second product or service. This can be especially troublesome when a seller has "market power" in a product and uses that market power in an attempt to force customers to purchase a second product.

An example of a tying arrangement.

An example of a tying arrangement may be a book publisher that requires a bookstore to stock up on an unpopular title before allowing them to purchase a bestseller.

Necessity of Market Power

Most small businesses probably lack the market power in a product to create illegal tying arrangements. In these cases, tying arrangements would probably be acceptable under the law.

Avoiding suppliers who try to force tying arrangements on a small business

It may be more common for a small business to encounter illegal tying arrangements as a customer. Suppliers to small businesses may try to force small businesses to buy more of their product line than a small business wants to buy. In these cases, a small business should complain vigorously and should seek legal help if a supplier doesn't change its ways.

Additional Information
Important Tip: 
Don't confuse sales where you sell two items together as a convenience or to offer a more economical bundle to a customer - illegal tying is only present when you are forcing a customer to take something it doesn't want.
Marketing copy: 
Antitrust Issues