[thelist] re:site price help

Oliver Lineham oliver at lineham.co.nz
Tue Jul 18 02:00:50 CDT 2000

At 23:30 17/07/00 -0500, you wrote:

>The definition of price-fixing is the agreement to set a minimum price or
>maximum price or both (by setting the only price) to the exclusion of others
>in the same field of commerce.

I'm pretty sure that's wrong.  For example, there are a finite number of 
petrol companies: if every petrol company was party to an agreement to hold 
prices high that would certainly be illegal, but wouldn't be to the 
exclusion of others.  It's called a cartel.

I don't know about the US, but this is how it works elsewhere in the world.


I'm pretty sure that's wrong also.  Again, the petrol companies can agree 
to hold prices high, but you are saying it would be ok as long as they tell 

>are in agreement to fix a price for the purposes of driving everyone else
>out of business and therefrom creating a horizontal monopoly.

Price fixing is one part of competition law, abuse of a dominant position 
(as the above quote talks of) is something else entirely.

To bring this topic back to evolt, the question is whether we should avoid 
discussing our rates on thelist.  I don't imagine thelist members would 
explicity talk about holding prices high.  I also don't imagine that any 
investigation by an authority into such discussions on thelist would result 
in any action.  That said, an investigation would itself be enough of a 
hassle for those involved.  The bottom line is that it is up to the 
individual to decide whether discussing prices with competitors is worth 
the risk.

Legal issues aside, there is also the matter of competitive advantage. 
Pricing is a sensitive issue. Often responses to tenders are required to be 
kept secret, so competitors don't know too much about the pricing.

I can't speak for the rest of evolt.org admin, but my stance is that 
members are welcome to discuss whatever they want, related to this 
industry. I wouldn't intervene. It is up to the individual.


     v i b e   m e d i a    http://www.vibe.co.nz/
  po box 10-492              wellington, new zealand
  phone +64 21 210-7845         oliver at lineham.co.nz

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