Tuesday, June 2, 2009
A year ago, the big oil companies were bringing in record profits and the public was outraged. This summer, will we be looking at antitrust cases against companies that fare a little too well during a recession?
Intel was recently ordered to pay 1.45 billion dollars in Europe for giving discounts to repeat customers. Discounts to certain customers violates antitrust laws (albeit European Union ones)?
This article, from the Wall Street Journal, talks about wanting to go after companies that pick up market share during the financial crisis.
It's possible that Walmart could get slapped with a suit because they cater heavily to the middle-to-low income households and prevent specialty stores from succeeding. Apparently upper middle-to-low upper class are now shopping at Walmart and are hurting the small deli shops and local businesses that cater to the upper class.However, aren't antitrust laws set up to make sure people receive a "fair" price?
Heck, maybe Ford will get in trouble for outpreforming General Motors. Even though GM could avoid that by selling vehicles at a loss and using government funds to prop it up...
The author makes a good presumption that nothing will come out of this exept for an increase in litigation costs, but like the Obama White House says, "Never let a crisis go to waste."
EDIT: Apparently part of the Intel/EU case was that Intel was giving the discount to customers that did not buy chips from rival AMD. I still don't see a problem with this.
Cox Communicaitons gives me a discount for using all three of their services (phone/internet/cable).
Posted by John at 3:25 PM