I have watched this debate over the last few days and I am amazed at the propoganda and misunderstandings from a lot of the community. I would like to state that I support Maelstrom Games in general though they are no angels either. You can get all the pertinent information here. Maelstrom are selling the products at a much larger discount than the other retailers. While this is good for the consumer in the short term or on an individual basis it is bad for Battlefront on the long term and bad for players of Flames of War. Why you might ask. Well simply from the fact of what this will cause in the market.
For players of Flames of War getting cheap product is great. However as this comes from only one source what happens to the other sources. Well they will be forced to either follow suit, which they are not allowed to, or stop selling an unprofitable product. This in turn removes the stock in large levels at least from brick and mortar stores. This results in less viral marketing and in turn lower numbers of new players entering the hobby. Roll that forward for a few years and Flames of War will be stuck within whats called a death spiral where they are no longer able to grow effectively and as such may result in the end of the company. This is a good possibility due to a single online stockist offering a massive discount. It has long term consequences that should be noticed.
Why are Maelstrom doing this, they claim in the interests of the customers but come on we should not be so naieve. We know they are a business and yes they are gamers. However at a certain point money takes over and the bottom line becomes ever increasingly important. Maelstrom needs to squeeze out its compeitors and one way of doing this is underselling. If you compare it to a Ryanair model of cheap flights they are simply doing the same. They are balancing volume of sales versus a lower profit margin and they are doing it really well. This isn't in the long term intrests of any of us. As it will result in games stores closing. Simple as that Maelstrom offers too good a deal to pass up. I am like you greedy and I don't want to spend more euros on an expensive hobby than I need to.
Battlefront has to respond to this. They are not acting in the best interests of the customers either let it be said. They are moving to protect their market share and market placement. They have to as they don't control IP on the game. They can be replaced by another supplier in terms of minatures easily and then they are going to be in trouble, fast! They have to stop sales at a massive discount from a single trader. That could easily be done by removing what would appear to be a cosy arrangement with the retailers to not sell below 10% as a discount. Allowing everyone online at least to do that would spread the damage and benefit the customers somewhat. It isn't great from the point of view of high street retailers but it is a start.
A good site to see what I am talking about is Canister and Grape the customers are looking at this simply from a cheap miniatures point of view and not as a long term cause and effect. Believe me I want cheaper miniatures, however I also want local games stores!