A week ago, four executives working for Infineon, one of the largest computer memory makers, were sentenced to jail for terms ranging between 4 and 6 months. They were accused of price fixing, an illegal practice in which competing companies agree, formally or informally, to restrict prices within a specified range. This means that something which price would have been brought down due to competition was sold at a high price since competing companies secretly agreed to fix a high price, avoiding a price war.
How does this concern you dear Lebanon? Let me put it this way. We have no rules for price fixing or at least they are not being applied.
Ever wondered why Pepsi and Coca-Cola are sold for the same price? Why they run simultaneous campaigns when lowering their prices?
What about the ISPs (Internet Service Provider)? In summer 2001, the price of monthly unlimited accounts reached the 13 $ low, when suddenly, all of the large ISPs, Cyberia, Inconet, Data Management and the rest raised their prices to 20$. It really makes you wonder... While they make higher profits by adopting this strategy, we as consumers are the ones who have to pay the price.
We are definitely lagging behind when it comes to rules and regulations in our ever-weakening economy. We are already having trouble with the current laws not being applied.
Unfortunately, I see no immediate solution. Maybe we ought to create consumer rights organizations... Ones which can make a difference, not just boycott the mobile sector without affecting the government.
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