Antitrust Allegations Against Comcast Nothing New

Date: 5 Sep 2012 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

We have frequently written of Comcast’s anti-consumer actions past posts, so we were not surprised to learn that the Department of Justice (DOJ) recently decided to investigate the cable company for antitrust. The borders between antitrust and hyper competitive business practices are grey; Comcast has … Read More

Justice Department Abets Amazon’s E-Book Monopoly

Date: 20 Jun 2012 | posted in: Retail | 10 Facebooktwitterredditmail

For years, Amazon has used its size and market power to bully publishers and keep other retailers from competing in the e-book market.  And, for years, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has done nothing to constrain Amazon’s abuses or … Read More

The Walmart de Mexico Scandal: Here’s a Punishment that Befits the Crime

Date: 27 Apr 2012 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

By bribing officials, Walmart was able to outpace its competitors, opening new stores so fast they had no time to react. In just a few years, Walmart came out of nowhere to dominate the Mexican economy. But, as any athlete or other competitor knows, if you’re caught cheating your way to a win, then you most certainly do not get to keep the prize.… Read More

Death of the Category Killers

Date: 23 Jun 2009 | posted in: Retail | 2 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Borders Books is on "death watch," according to one industry observer. Virgin shut down its last U.S. record store this month. Office Depot and Staples are struggling.  Circuit City is gone.  Best Buy has launched a desperate ad campaign.

While the decline of independent businesses has leveled off, the rest of the retail sector is undergoing dramatic consolidation as a small number of massive companies become ever more dominant. This is an ominous trend for manufacturers and consumers, and it exposes serious flaws in U.S. antitrust policy.  … Read More

Soaring Credit Card Transaction Fees Squeeze Independent Businesses

Date: 5 May 2009 | posted in: Banking, Retail | 8 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Independent businesses are largely at the mercy of Visa and MasterCard when it comes to the fees they must pay every time they swipe a credit card.  These fees, which are ultimately passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices, have soared from $27 billion in 2004 to $48 billion last year (or $427 per household). Recognizing the tremendous market power held by card processors, many countries now regulate credit card transaction fees, setting them at rates as low as one-sixth of what U.S. businesses pay.  … Read More

The Big Difference in Obama’s and McCain’s Plans for Our Energy Future

A few weeks ago I was at Iowa State University addressing 500 students and faculty at its engineering school. I was sharing a platform with former CIA Director Jim Woolsey. At one point, a student asked our views on the presidential candidates’ energy programs.

Iresponded that the essential difference between Obama and McCain is not in their goals as much as it is in the tools they would use to reach those goals. Obama believes in the active use of government authority; John McCain does not. McCain’s self-declared heroes, Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, galvanized and led a movement whose principal thesis is that government is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

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