If That's Price Fixing, You're Doing It Wrong

from the price-fixing-means-prices-don't-drop... dept

There was plenty of news coverage this week of the $585 million in criminal fines against Sharp, LG and Chunghwa for price fixing on LCD displays. LG is paying the largest share at $400 million -- though, in the interest of disclosure, I should note that I'm writing this post using an LG LCD monitor that I got for quite a good price a few months back. And that brings up an issue I haven't seen addressed anywhere, other than by Adam Theirer: if this was price fixing, the companies were doing it wrong. Prices on LCDs were sliding very quickly, and it while there may have been some collusion among these three providers, it didn't seem to do much good. That's partly because there were plenty of other providers in the market, so any attempt at collusion was rather ineffective in stopping the rapid decline in prices. Sure, collusion is a bad thing, but we see this over and over again in antitrust enforcement: regulators keep punishing certain activities without bothering to see if they actually do anything to harm consumers.

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 4:47am

    not tech related. but.........

    If what Sharp, LG and Chunghwa did is illegal, how is OPEC getting all the oil producing countries to slow down production to keep gas prices high, legal?

     

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    Twinrova, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 4:53am

    It's about damn time!!!

    Two years ago, I received information that most TV makers don't actually build the screens in their TVs, but instead rely on other companies to produce them. This is especially true for plasma televisions, in which there are only 4 manufacturers of the screens (this was 2 years ago and this may no longer be accurate).

    I've always wondered why LCD monitors never dropped in price the way other electronics do. The cheapest LCD monitor, at 13", I've seen was $149. That's quite a bit for a technology that's been around for a decade and its price hasn't fallen along the lines of other devices.

    Even Blu-Ray player prices have dropped significantly in just 2 years. What was once $1000 is now $299. So why weren't LCDs falling this fast?

    Now we all know and I'm glad someone took the time to figure out what the hell was going on, especially if TV manufacturers had to purchase screens outside the company. I don't find it coincidence that the "advent" of HD programming in the US has helped fuel this price gouging.

    In other words: They didn't do it wrong. They did it just right but failed to do it enough to catch the eyes of those who do watch for this type of thing.

    And Mike, if you've spent more than $100 for that LCD monitor, you didn't get a deal. You, like millions of others, got shafted by an industry who took advantage of its position.

    Also, you can add a "+1" to my "fear" of big business, as I know this type of business practice exists.

    I still remember when US cereal makers were caught price fixing, but instead of their prices dropping, they went up to pay for the fines of their fixing practices.

    I guess this means LCD prices won't be dropping anytime soon, especially with this much of a fine.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 4:55am

    So if I take $20 from a cash register; if the owner of the business doesn't miss it and therefore wasn't harmed; then I shouldn't be charged? Quite twisted logic there. They should be punished as an example to others; because sooner or later it will hurt the consumer.

     

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    Dave, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 5:05am

    Re: not tech related. but.........

    OPEC isn't getting them all, just their member countries in the middle east.

    The non-OPEC countries (Canada, Nigeria, etc.) just use it as an excuse to keep theirs high.

     

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    don delny, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 5:09am

    Cartels are cartels

    Sorry Mike,
    I agree with you on most things, but collusion plus price fixing is wrong, even if ineffective. Cartels do not produce positive externalities for anyone -- customers, non-cartel members, or, in this case, even for cartel members.

    The effectiveness could be debated, anyway. If my company stops losing money at the rate of $100/unit on a product and instead loses money at $25/unit, I may not have made a profit, but in the long term I might outlast my other competitors. Or, at least keep my job.

     

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    Duane (profile), Nov 14th, 2008 @ 5:10am

    I'm with them

    I think you got this one wrong Mike. One of the articles I read on this said that if not for the conspiring, the prices on LCDs, all kinds of LCDs, would have started dropping sooner. And that fits.

    Obviously advances in technology and such meant that the strategy couldn't work forever, but I can't imagine LG would agree to pay $400 million unless there was a really strong case against them or that this strategy benefited them significantly.

     

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    some old guy, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 5:11am

    Not sure I get this..

    Mike, are you saying attempted murder is ok, as long as I don't succeed?

    Or that it's just not worth the effort to prosecute if I only maim my target?

     

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    Dan Stevens, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 5:14am

    Surely price fixing only makes sense if you get all providers in agreement, otherwise I'd image you'd put yourself in a position where you are restricted on competing in price. Don't they also face the risk of being ratted out whenever they approach another business with a price fixing deal?

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 14th, 2008 @ 5:29am

    Re: #3

    Re AC #3
    How the heck does taking money from a cash register have anything what so ever to do with price fixing on LCD monitors? That is quite twisted logic there. I have absolutely no idea what made you think it was a valid analogy.
    I am going to need some explanation please as to how it fits into anything.

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 14th, 2008 @ 5:30am

    Re: It's about damn time!!!

    Also, you can add a "+1" to my "fear" of big business, as I know this type of business practice exists.

    This isn't /.
    We don't rate comments here. =P

     

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  11.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 14th, 2008 @ 5:33am

    Re: Not sure I get this..

    What does murder have to do with LCD monitors & price fixing?
    You are WAY off topic with that analogy. I think the guy who was talking about taking money from a cash register was closer than you are.

    One action is attempting to kill somebody. The other does not put people in any sort of physical harms way. Better analogy please.

     

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    Angus, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 5:33am

    read the story again

    This was for the time frame from 2001 to 2006 if I recall correctly. If you just bought your monitor, they had already stopped colluding.

     

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    FarSide, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 5:36am

    Re: It's about damn time!!!

    Prices don't just fall because it has gotten cheaper to make something! There are a host of factors that go into a price, including demand (were people paying the higher price?), recouping development costs, paying for service, etc etc.

    Blu-ray dropped because no one was buying them! That's how it works... If people are buying LCDs at the current price, why drop it?

    In addition, you do not have a RIGHT to an LCD, nor do you deserve getting one for $50 just because you think you do. Sorry.

    I'm not defending collusion right now, but if you think prices are too high, then don't buy it. How, exactly, do you get 'shafted' if you willingly pay a price for a product that someone has set? Did someone MAKE you buy it? Were you somehow otherwise forced or tricked into the purchase?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 5:42am

    Re: Re: #3

    Read his last sentence where he says that they were prosecuted even though there is no evidence it harmed the consumer. Since when do we only prosecute if we show harm? Thus, stealing $20 from a big rich company that would never miss it doesn't harm the company and shouldn't be prosecuted.

     

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    NullOp, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 5:46am

    Price Fixing

    Most products are 'price fixed.' Free markets would respond quicker than the current American 'free market.' Companies respond by saying they have to 'recover development costs.' This lie is most obvious in the pharmaceuticals industry. Remember back when you could order drugs from Canada at a fraction of what they cost in the U.S.? Then the drug companies whined and complained that the drugs might be 'substandard.' Long story short, it all boils down to greed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 5:49am

    Re: Cartels are cartels

    There's not much point in complaining about OPEC and the oil cartel. You can fine and piss off LCD makers without much reprocution. They will pay the fine to continue selling the US LCD screens. You cannot fine OPEC because they can essentially shut the US down. With China coming online and buying more and more oil, they would gladly sell it to them instead of us. Then where would we be.

    But no... we definetly shouldn't drill our own oil. /sarcasm

     

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    Dosquatch, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 5:50am

    Re: not tech related. but.........

    Because OPEC is a "trade group" of member countries, all of which are outside of the US, with no legal presence inside the US, and thus not beholden to US law, including antitrust law. There is no equivalent international "antitrust" law.

    OPEC chooses to operate as a united supplier. They are selling a commodity on the global market. As a purchaser on the global market, it is in our best interest to purchase that commodity at the best price offered.

    Even though the OPEC member countries are colluding amongst themselves, they are still competing on price with suppliers who are NOT member countries, such as Russia and Canada, whom we also purchase from, when and as they are offering the best unit price.

     

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    Richard Ahlquist (profile), Nov 14th, 2008 @ 5:56am

    Uhh no, fixing is fixing

    Sorry mike, if they werent colluding perhaps you would have paid half what you did for that LG LCD.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 5:56am

    Re: It's about damn time!!!

    The cheapest LCD monitor, at 13", I've seen was $149.

    Here's a slew of 19" monitors, many for less than $149. You, sir, are shopping in the wrong places if you can't find better prices than that.

     

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  20.  
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    Gunnar, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 5:57am

    Also, OPEC doesn't set the price. They control the supply. The price is set on the commodities market.

     

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  21.  
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    Dosquatch, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 6:02am

    Re: Re: It's about damn time!!!

    Hrm? My linky doesn't work? Maybe it's some sort of Spam control... anyway, if you hover over "slew of 19" monitors", it looks like a link but doesn't seem to take you (at the moment) to a ProVantage search showing many 19" monitors, starting with an Acer for about $130... I'm not trying to advertise for any particular brand or vendor, I'm only using them in exemplar.

     

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  22.  
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    FarSide, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 6:05am

    Re: Price Fixing

    You had me most of the way on this one.

    The problem isn't just "greed" that everyone keeps using as a catch-all.

    While the drug companies whined and complained, they alone don't have the power to do anything about it - other than paying off politicians.

    If it wasn't for "lawmakers" doing the price-fixing (no one seems to care when gov't price-fixes things) then your drugs could still come from CAN. They not only fixed prices, but they outlawed anyone else!

    Now, instead of backtracking and making the drugs market more free, they will just give us money to help pay for our drugs (that they got from us in the first place).

    Not just greed. Greed and POWER.

     

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  23.  
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    FarSide, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 6:08am

    Re:

    Now you're just splitting hairs.

    That's like saying "I just pulled the trigger. It was the bullet that killed that man"

     

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  24.  
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    Dosquatch, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 6:12am

    Re: Re: Cartels are cartels

    We cannot fine OPEC because we have no authority over them. Or, more precisely, we can fine them as much as we want, but we have no way to enforce such.

    It's like if I were to fine you a million bucks for being a blowhard AC. I can do that. It's a legitimate fine which you duly owe here in Dosquatch-Land. Only you're not subject to Dosquatch-Land rules, so you respond "Hmf! WTF-Ever." And rightfully so that you should.

    About the only thing we can do, as a consumer nation, is to stop purchasing from OPEC. We can do that, they cannot force us to buy their product. And we, as the largest consumer of their ware, will do far more harm to them than to ourselves by this action - you see, we purchase most of our oil from the silly canucks.

     

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    Twinrova, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 6:13am

    Re: Re: It's about damn time!!!

    Prices don't just fall because it has gotten cheaper to make something! There are a host of factors that go into a price, including demand (were people paying the higher price?), recouping development costs, paying for service, etc etc.
    Did you skip over the entire message of the original blog???
    Competition drives down prices in electronics. Period. It matters not if I expect the prices to be lower. The market demands it. This is why branding exists. There's a much bigger difference in price for a Sony vs. a no-name brand.

    Blu-ray dropped because no one was buying them! That's how it works... If people are buying LCDs at the current price, why drop it?
    How did you come up with this? People are buying them. The price is dropping because more companies are manufacturing them.
    People are being forced to buy at a current price based on this price fixing, sir. Focus.

    In addition, you do not have a RIGHT to an LCD, nor do you deserve getting one for $50 just because you think you do. Sorry.
    I don't get this part, but "deserve" is out of context here. I expect to pay $50 for an LCD because electronic prices, as a whole, drops within years. You have failed to mention why monitors aren't below $50.

    I'm not defending collusion right now, but if you think prices are too high, then don't buy it. How, exactly, do you get 'shafted' if you willingly pay a price for a product that someone has set? Did someone MAKE you buy it? Were you somehow otherwise forced or tricked into the purchase?
    First, prices aren't "too high". However, they're not where they're supposed to be. Please re-read the entire collusion issue and why these companies were fined.

    How do you get shafted? Sir, if you can't figure this out on your own, I can not make it any easier for you when you're looking at LCD HDTVs and seeing how prices are quite high for a technology that's a decade old.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 6:14am

    Re: not tech related. but.........

    since we are off topic why not.

    OPEC is not subject to US law, if you don't like the way they conduct business just do deal with them.

     

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  27.  
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    RabC, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 6:17am

    Sweet justice

    Far better to look at the Prce fixing that has been going on for years over the costs of commoditys. It is only since the Chinee start up that prices for raw materials have risen beyond their 60's and 70's levels. Now yankee must pay big dollah for Hafnium

     

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  28.  
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    Steve (profile), Nov 14th, 2008 @ 6:17am

    Collusion is collusion..

    I dont know the specifics of the law, nor the details of what the companies did, regarding the collusion, but if it is indeed the collusion that is illegal, then they should be procecuted, even if the collusion didn't benefit them or harm the consumer. If not, then the precident is set, and we'll have companies trying to get out of being prosecuted for monopolistic behavior because "the consumer wasn't harmed", and that is going to be a hard thing to overcome, and it's frankly irrelevant..

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 6:17am

    Re:

    That's a bit different. The business owner is still harmed then. The point with the LCD screens is that they were relatively inexpensive. They COULD of been cheaper, POSSIBLY. As Mike pointed out there were/are other LCD manufacturers that were not involved in this "collusion".

    The main point was, if no harm is done is there even a crime? If you stole 20 dollars from your employer there is some tangible harm done there, albeit a small amount. Contrasting with the LCD prices, what harm is done? Someone had to pay a still reasonable price for a luxury good, but there is a small chance it could of been cheaper so what do we do? We fine the companies involved like they won't raise prices in order to pay the fine off!

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 6:29am

    Re: Re: Re: It's about damn time!!!

    Twinrova, I can't help but feel that you're just complaining. Parent did have a point about the demand. Just because manufacturing gets cheaper doesn't necessitate a price drop.

    Go back and compare CRT monitor prices. That technology was over a decade old when LCD screens came around. I don't recall new monitor prices EVER getting as low as 50 dollars.

    Also, LCD monitors didn't really start to take off as a consumer good until 2004. The VAST bulk of consumers still were getting CRT monitors because they were a better deal if screen size was more important to you.

    TVs using similar technology also were still fairly expensive if you wanted them at any real size.

    So what exactly is your point? Also, the other LCD makers were not just "no name brands." Chungwa I've never even heard of. Sharp LCDs I rarely see sold compared to LG in stores, and only on some websites. I see far more LCDs made by ASUS or Abit or even Samsung or Toshiba. How about Viewsonic? None of those are near "no-name brands" and are not involved in the collusion suit, yet their prices were similar?

    And why is that? Maybe its because you don't generally need to buy a monitor that much. They tend to last for quite a while after all. I still have a 15" LCD from LG, one of their first generation ones. Only one dead pixel and that was from day 1.

    Hell it took 3 years for them to stop having dead pixels when they shipped out.

    No, I think I'm going to side with the rest here. This collusion fine doesn't make much sense. It targets a narrow band and for no real point. 200 bucks for a monitor sounds about right. I know I wouldn't mind it being cheaper, but when getting a system or upgrading that's reasonable.

    The only people it isn't is for students that work 20 hours a week. Even with minimum wage and 40 hours a week I've been able to save up and buy new computer systems. You just have to budget.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 6:33am

    Re: I'm with them

    Why are 2 second rate LCD manufacturers and one first rate one the only ones fined?

    Were ViewSonic, Abit, Acer, ASUS, Toshiba, Samsung, even Sony all not a part of the collusion? If so why weren't they undercutting the competition to generate more sales?

    Something fairly big is missing here. You can't have a price fixing cartel with only a handful of players, many of which aren't even first choices for enthusiasts and OEM builders!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 6:33am

    Re: I'm with them

    Why are 2 second rate LCD manufacturers and one first rate one the only ones fined?

    Were ViewSonic, Abit, Acer, ASUS, Toshiba, Samsung, even Sony all not a part of the collusion? If so why weren't they undercutting the competition to generate more sales?

    Something fairly big is missing here. You can't have a price fixing cartel with only a handful of players, many of which aren't even first choices for enthusiasts and OEM builders!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 6:34am

    Re: Uhh no, fixing is fixing

    Why are 2 second rate LCD manufacturers and one first rate one the only ones fined?

    Were ViewSonic, Abit, Acer, ASUS, Toshiba, Samsung, even Sony all not a part of the collusion? If so why weren't they undercutting the competition to generate more sales?

    Something fairly big is missing here. You can't have a price fixing cartel with only a handful of players, many of which aren't even first choices for enthusiasts and OEM builders!

    If they were colluding, they can't be now unless every other one is as well!

     

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  34.  
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    Dosquatch, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 6:53am

    Re: Re: Re: It's about damn time!!!

    People are being forced to buy at a current price based on this price fixing, sir. Focus.

    Nay nay. Nobody is "forcing" you to buy something at a price you feel is still unreasonable. I do not have a Blu-Ray player because the price has been unreasonable until very recently (just saw one finally under 2 bills this week). Still won't have one because the prices on "hi-def" TV's are still at a level I'm not fond of, but they're getting better. My TV works. I can wait. I want, but nobody's forcing anything. Oh, if I just must have one, I have to pay whatever the current "market price" is, but nobody has said that the market price is or has been unfair. Not even I - higher than I will pay, but that's me, doesn't mean it's an unfair price.

    It's called "free market" and "capitalism".

    I don't get this part, but "deserve" is out of context here. I expect to pay $50 for an LCD because electronic prices, as a whole, drops within years. You have failed to mention why monitors aren't below $50.

    Because there's no incentive to price them that low. You lower price to collect new customers that will not buy at the higher price, but not until you've nearly exhausted those willing to pay the higher price. This maximizes your profits, and is the goal of a successful business in a free market. There's a point, however, below which dropping your price will not net you any significant increase in customers. There is no market incentive to ever go below this point.

    First, prices aren't "too high". However, they're not where they're supposed to be.

    If people are buying, and feel they are getting adequate value for their money, then the price is exactly where it should be, collusion or no.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 6:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Cartels are cartels

    I think that's kinda what I said...

    We can fine them, we can tell them they cannot sell their product here until they pay the fine, but we cannot force them to and they can cut us off.

    Most of the member countries hate the US anyway, give them a reason to sell it to other countries instead of us and they'll be gone.

     

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    cynoclast, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 6:56am

    Re: not tech related. but.........

    Because the world economy can handle bucking of a few LCD manufacturers.

    But if we attempted to impose sanctions on OPEC, they could simply halt production and humanity on the glob stops moving in short order.

    In short, they have us over a barrel.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 6:57am

    Re:

    Gunnar, and by controlling supply you can control the price. Wow, people on this site really don't understand economics. I guess that is why Mike can lie to them so easily.

     

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    Benjie, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 6:59am

    Price fixing

    I don't have much of an issue against price fixing for the computer market. It's such a competative market already, that the only time the price fix is when the economy hits a slump.

    I rmember when RAM prices fell so much that companies were losing money with every modual they sold. They actually costed more to make than what they were selling for. I'm not sure if I would consider that 'healthy' competition.

     

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    Nick, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 8:09am

    Crime based on outcome?

    The author of this article must live in a sheltered world. Should criminals that are not successful in their attempt be let go scott free? Should we stop trying people for attempted murder because the victim wasn't really killed?! Sorry Mike, but you are ignorant.

     

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    Smacky, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 8:38am

    Interesting

    Interesting concept. They *tried* to do something illegal, but they didn't really accomplish much. Yeah, you're right, no one should be punished for *trying* to do something illegal unless they actually accomplish it.

    So lets say bye-bye to crimes like "attempted" murder.

     

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  41.  
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    Legal Eagle, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 9:46am

    Re: not tech related. but.........

    They are not subject to US law. POS is not in US, but contracts outside.

     

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    James, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 10:04am

    LCD TV

    As a small retailer of electronics I wish these companies would do some price fixing for me.
    Profit on LCD TVs is nonexistent at my end of the chain.
    I even ask people not to use credit cards because the 3% surcharge is more than the profit on the TV.
    LG is not a top Supplier; it’s a conglomeration of Asian companies they have Cheap produces to flood the US market with.
    Sharp being involved in this is a surprise they are a true LCD Manufacturer and were one of the first companies to tool up for LCD production.
    The only way I see these three involved together would be if sharp were supplying these LCD panels to the other two.

     

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    shawn, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 10:17am

    Re: Crime based on outcome?

    Contract law specifies that actual damages are the standard remedy in a breach of contract case. No damages, no award to the offended party. To get nominal damages, you generally need some really bad behavior. So it doesn't seem too far out to consider the impact on the consumer when meting out punishment.

    In fact, that the outcome determines the crime seems implicit in the fact that there is a separate crime for attempted murder. Pulling a trigger is not illegal, but if done with intent to kill, it offends society, thus the crime of attempted murder. Now if the outcome is a death, it is a much worse crime.

    So no, don't let the attempt go wholly unpunished, but the outcome (actual harm to consumers, in this case) is (or should be) the most significant element in determining the degree of punishment.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 10:20am

    Re: not tech related. but.........

    Jurisdictional conflict...of course

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 14th, 2008 @ 10:34am

    Re: Re: Re: #3

    Except no.
    Taking money out of the cash register will cause the company to raise prices on something to recoup the loss.
    And any large company would not just take the 20$ loss in stride. They are greedy by nature. And they would prosecute the person taking the money. Probably for more reasons than to just make an example of them.
    Although, there are similarities in that somebody taking money from the cash register doesn't stop you from going to a different store, just like these couple companies price fixing doesn't stop you from buying an alternative brand.
    The analogy would have been a little more proper had it been worded around somebody taking 20$ out of your wallet when you purchase a LCD.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    El Cucuy, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 10:44am

    Attempted Theft

    Yes, I have to agree with most of the posters here...it is a good thing that they are being punished.

    And to use a more apt analogy, if someone attempts to break into your house should they be punished. Let's say they couldn't get in the window, you have bars, maybe an alarm or whatnot. The point is they couldn't actually enter your house. But they were caught trying. So since their attempt at burglary was ineffectual, possibly due to their own incompetence, maybe through dumb luck, does that mean that they do not deserve any sort of punishment? I would assume that a rational person would think that they must be punished (even if unsuccessful) otherwise they will think there is no harm in trying to do it again next time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Vincent Clement, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 10:45am

    Re: not tech related. but.........

    Except that OPEC is notoriously poor at controlling member countries. The OPEC quota system is regularly abused and ignored. Further, OPEC knows that based on events during the 70s that any sudden manipulations may lead to economic crisis - the short-term gain is not worth the long-term pain.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Nov 14th, 2008 @ 11:00am

    Re: It's about damn time!!!

    I've always wondered why LCD monitors never dropped in price the way other electronics do.

    You might want to try reading the details. LCD prices have dropped FASTER than other electronics. But nice try.

    I guess this means LCD prices won't be dropping anytime soon, especially with this much of a fine.

    And you consider this to be a good thing?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: not tech related. but.........

    In short, they have us over a barrel.

    Oh, I see what you did there. That's a pun.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    snowburn14, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: Crime based on outcome?

    "So no, don't let the attempt go wholly unpunished, but the outcome (actual harm to consumers, in this case) is (or should be) the most significant element in determining the degree of punishment."

    That reasoning has never made any sense to me. Personally, my feeling has always been that if you shoot (at) someone with the intention of killing them, you shouldn't get a lesser sentence because you're a lousy shot, or they were fortunate enough to turn aside at the last second and make it to a hospital in time. And that applies across the board as far as I'm concerned. I loathe anything that rewards stupidity or incompetence, and lessening criminal penalties because they failed in their attempt does exactly that. Am I glad the attempt was unsuccesful? Of course. But that doesn't change the nature of the criminal act, and in my opinion THAT should be the most significant element in determining the degree of punishment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Dosquatch, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 12:09pm

    Re: LCD TV

    I'm pretty sure the LG/Phillips partnership is a genuine large scale manufacturer of LCD panels?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Snidely, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 4:06pm

    Re: not tech related. but.........

    Because OPEC is not a company that does business in the US. They just control the supply available for purchase. American companies do not participate in OPEC. If they did, they would be violating the law.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Clueby4, Nov 14th, 2008 @ 4:31pm

    LCD price fixing was pretty obvious.

    Most people are too obtuse to know they're getting screwed with widescreen format. So, I don't find it the least bit surprising that most didn't pick up on price fixing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Michael Fermanich, Oct 29th, 2011 @ 1:36pm

    Sue OPEC

    Excuse me their antitrust expert but oil is a finite source and your computer is not thus supply and demand can be controlled via a finite source and your computer is not a natural resource controlled by applications of being a finite source. It is that simple

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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