eBay vrs42? (grand finale)

From: Vintage Computer Festival <vcf_at_siconic.com>
Date: Sun Feb 13 10:51:17 2005

On Sun, 13 Feb 2005, Jim Battle wrote:

> > If I and Sellam agree that your item is worth 80 American cents,
> > and we collude to pay only that, that's not price fixing. If we
> > somehow convince *all other* bidders not to outbid our 80 cents,
> > *that's* price fixing.
> Isn't that what was going on? There are two bidders who don't know each
> other. One attempted to convince all other bidders (one in this case)
> to arrange a lower top bid for an item.

No, that is not what was going on. You don't know that David was going to
ask him to collude. That's just speculation on your part.

> Another point. In the real world if american airlines sets a special
> fare from chicago to new york for $200 and united's management notices
> it and decides to match the fare, that is competition. instead, imagine
> american's management calls up united's management and says we're
> thinking about lowering the price on that route; we don't want to get in
> a tussle with you, so how about we agree to $200? in this case it is
> collusion and is very illegal. the outcome is the same for the
> consumer. from the consumer's "black box" understanding of the
> situation, things are no different, so why is the first case lauded and
> the second case illegal?

Because as you stated, one is competition and the other is price fixing.

> Some (not you Doc) have taken my position and moved that somewhat
> arbitrary cutoff to to an extreme ("you imply that buyers must bid on
> every item whether they want it or not to ensure maximum seller profit.
> that it just stupid!") to make it easy to argue against.

If you're arguing based on logic then it's the natural conclusion. If
you're arguing on something else then it's not, but the problem is you can
never get everyone to cooperate in the way that you want so that all
trade is fair between all people. The logic of the market is cruel.

Sellam Ismail                                        Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger                http://www.vintage.org
[ Old computing resources for business || Buy/Sell/Trade Vintage Computers   ]
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Received on Sun Feb 13 2005 - 10:51:17 GMT

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