As the holiday season approaches, there's no question that videogame systems are going to be one of the biggest sellers this year, and we can certainly expect plenty of stories about long lines and children who didn't get their wish because the store had run out of PS3s. And of course, as a measure of last resort, some parents will take to eBay and pay out the nose for a box at the last minute. Obviously, retailers would love to get more money out of the desperate parents, while not pricing others out of the market. One way to do this is by charging more to buyers who will pay up front for a box and a set of videogame titles. It's basically a form of price discrimination, which can be a benefit to consumers as long as that benefit isn't offset by irritation. Apparently the practice of guaranteeing consumers a box if they agree to buy a bundle is upsetting to some, since people are wondering whether or not these retailers are guilty of some sort of anti-competitive, monopolistic behavior. It doesn't look like this complaint has much merit. Nobody's being forced to buy the bundle, and if anything, they probably help consumers, as those who want them the most can pay up for them, while the price of the core product (just the box) is held steady for everyone else.
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