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Rivals Protest Wal-Mart’s ‘Phony’ Price Comparisons

Competitors claim it's using products that aren't comparable


Wal-Mart WMTSeveral stores that compete with retail giant Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) are complaining about the chain’s new ad campaign.

At issue is Wal-Mart’s direct comparisons of prices on specific goods and at specific retailers, The Wall Street Journal reports. Both Toys ‘R’ Us and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) have lodged complaints with attorneys general in several states about the campaign.

An example of Best Buy’s complaint concerns a Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) laptop that both it and Wal-Mart sell. The latter advertised that the laptop was $251 cheaper at its stores. Best Buy argues that the two laptops aren’t identical and that Wal-Mart cherry-picked a computer from Best Buy that looked the same but had different specifications, and was therefore more expensive.

Toys ‘R’ Us complains that in the ads, the Bentonville-based retailer cited inaccurate prices for several products, including a toy kitchen and a scooter.

This isn’t the first time Wal-Mart has faced these sorts of complaints. In 1994, it settled a case with the Michigan attorney general. While not admitting guilt, the firm agreed to stop comparing products that weren’t the same size or model.

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Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, http://investorplace.com/2013/01/rivals-protest-wal-marts-phony-price-comparisons/.

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