* State Sen. Jim Oberweis asked the Federal Trade Commission to comment on his legislation to repeal the Sunday car sales ban. After a vote by the FTC, the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Policy Planning, Bureau of Competition, and Bureau of Economics responded…
The existing Code provisions effectively ban the sale or long-term lease of both new and used automobiles (except private sales) on Sunday throughout Illinois. They therefore eliminate the possibility of competition among dealers to determine the hours of operation on Sunday that might be most responsive to consumer preferences and most beneficial to automobile dealers.
Further, because automobile dealers also provide repair services and sell replacement parts, the probable effects of mandatory Sunday closing laws extend beyond vehicle sales. The principal harms to competition from such laws likely include:
(1) increased consumer search costs that impede comparison shopping;
(2) a market that is unresponsive to consumer preferences for hours of operation; and
(3) diminished competition among dealers for both automobile sales and a range of related services.
Collectively, these effects may lead to higher prices and reduced output for sales of new and used automobiles and related automobile services than would otherwise be the case.
* From Oberweis…
“Since 1983, car dealerships in Illinois have been forbidden to be open on Sundays under penalty of a $1500 fine,” Oberweis said. “A majority of states allow automobile sales on Sundays, and car dealers in Illinois should be free to choose whether they wish to be open or closed on Sundays without government interference.” […]
“This analysis and recommendations from the FTC bolster the argument for repealing this ban. Senate Bill 2629 should not be bottled up in committee. It should be sent to the Senate for full, public legislative debate,” Oberweis said. “We need to rethink the weak argument that car dealers should be closed Sundays to give their employees a day off and keep costs down. Plenty of other employers and stores set their hours – with full consideration of what their competition is doing – without input from the government.”