Wow, very interesting indeed. I have to say that from what I have read and the contact I have had with Maelstrom they do seem to put the customers before the suppliers... as a customer thumbs up
It's also a very interesting point about price fixing and "maximum" discounts applicable. As stated in the release above, suppliers and retailers are free to do what they like within the law. Maelstroms has the right to sell at a 17.5% discount, thats their business call around their own survivability and what they need to do to attract customers. Likewise I respect BF's right to set a RRP globally. However, it is a RRP not the fixed price.
I also respect BF's right to set whatever terms & conditions they like, but like GW, I'm concerned when they refuse to deal with retailers based on the price retailers offer. They make their "profit" at the rate they provide to retailers. If not, raise that rate. Regardless of how "low" the retailers sell, the product is still selling. The supplier (and in this case manufacturer) is still gaining customers, still making money. Sure, you are probably losing sales from your own store, and your other retailers are losing sales to Maelstrom... tough luck, welcome to the global economy.
The solution? Well thats a lot harder
Ultimately follow thew path above and Maelstrom capture the worlds market, and suddenly they are a monopoly... also a bad thing. Look what happened to Microsoft