What is Price Fixing?

Legal Definition
Price fixing is an agreement between participants on the same side in a market to buy or sell a product, service, or commodity only at a fixed price, or maintain the market conditions such that the price is maintained at a given level by controlling supply and demand.

The intent of price fixing may be to push the price of a product as high as possible, generally leading to profits for all sellers but may also have the goal to fix, peg, discount, or stabilize prices. The defining characteristic of price fixing is any agreement regarding price, whether expressed or implied.

Price fixing requires a conspiracy between sellers or buyers. The purpose is to coordinate pricing for mutual benefit of the traders. For example, manufacturers and retailers may conspire to sell at a common "retail" price; set a common minimum sales price, where sellers agree not to discount the sales price below the agreed-to minimum price; buy the product from a supplier at a specified maximum price; adhere to a price book or list price; engage in cooperative price advertising; standardize financial credit terms offered to purchasers; use uniform trade-in allowances; limit discounts; discontinue a free service or fix the price of one component of an overall service; adhere uniformly to previously-announced prices and terms of sale; establish uniform costs and markups; impose mandatory surcharges; purposefully reduce output or sales in order to charge higher prices; or purposefully share or pool markets, territories, or customers.

Price fixing is permitted in some markets but not others; where allowed, it is often known as resale price maintenance or retail price maintenance.

In neo-classical economics, price fixing is inefficient. The anti-competitive agreement by producers to fix prices above the market price transfers some of the consumer surplus to those producers and also results in a deadweight loss.

International price fixing by private entities can be prosecuted under the antitrust laws of many countries. Examples of prosecuted international cartels are those that controlled the prices and output of lysine, citric acid, graphite electrodes, and bulk vitamins. .
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
A purposeful freeze or maintenance of prices that is contrary to the free market. Price-fixing is an illegal restraint on trade under Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

See Antitrust Law
Legal Definition
The conspiracy among competitors to (1) fix the price for the sale of a good, (2) Fix the formulas used to determine the price of the sale, (3) Fix the discount rates, (4) fix the price differentials between the various quantities and qualities and (5) not to reduce the prices without the approval of the other parties involved. It is deemed punishable by law.