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EU Issues Largest Antitrust Fine to Date for CRT TV Price Fixing 153

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the bad-bad-manufacturer dept.
hankwang writes "The European commission fined a number manufacturers for pricing fixing of cathode ray tubes in the period between 1996 and 2005. The total fine was EUR 1.47 billion (USD 1.92 billion), for Philips, LG Electronics, Samsung SDI, and three other firms. According to the European Commission: 'For almost 10 years, the cartelists carried out the most harmful anti-competitive practices including price fixing, market sharing, customer allocation, capacity and output coordination and exchanges of commercial sensitive information. The cartelists also monitored the implementation, including auditing compliance with the capacity restrictions by plant visits in the case of the computer monitor tubes cartel.'"
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EU Issues Largest Antitrust Fine to Date for CRT TV Price Fixing

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  • Politicians don't have better things to worry about?

    • by gmack (197796) <gmack&innerfire,net> on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:01PM (#42192367) Homepage Journal

      If they did it once they will do it again.. (and they did)

    • by ilguido (1704434) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:05PM (#42192407) Homepage
      It's a deterrent: if none takes action they'll go on with these practices with something else (LCD, Plasma, Hard Disks... everything).
      • by afidel (530433) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:06PM (#42192425)

        And most of these same companies are in fact implicated in LCD price fixing.

        • by Splab (574204)

          Great, that just means they can have another go at setting record in getting huge fines.

        • by TheLink (130905)
          I wish some other industries would fix prices and exploit us poor consumers the way the computer hardware industry exploits us.

          Then shoes, office chairs, etc would be much cheaper, be of better quality, last at least 3-5 years on average and come with a 1-3 year warranty.
          • by sjames (1099)

            You do realize that the CRTs would have been even cheaper and better without the collusion, right?

            • by TheLink (130905)
              Of course. Doesn't make the other stuff better though.

              We've been making chairs for many thousands of years. And still a good comfortable, adjustable and long-lasting chair costs a lot, while the cheaper ones aren't comfortable etc and/or fall apart a bit too fast.

              There might be cheap, good chairs out there but they are lost in a sea of crap. Who has time and money to test 1000 chairs? So the people making good chairs for cheap don't do as well as those making crap chairs for cheap.

              Maybe this is where govern
              • by sjames (1099)

                I do agree that there are a lot of products either made a lot crappier than they need to be or sold for a lot more than they should cost. "Value" engineering has really accelerated the race to the bottom.

                • by TheLink (130905)
                  Yeah. It's rather inefficient, Many of us are spending money, resources and time on products that are way crappier than they should be, all because there is no reasonable way of finding out which products are better.

                  It may be bad to buy a cheap crappy product, but it's worse to buy an expensive crappy product, so many just settle for cheap and crappy.

                  Then the companies that are making cheap noncrap stuff that's lost in the sea of crap will give up and make cheap crap too.

                  There's stuff like Consumer Reports
                  • by sjames (1099)

                    Just to make it worse, at one time 'name brands' were a safe bet. However, these days most name brands are just the inexpensive no-name product re-badged and with a significant price hike. They're just as likely to be crap as anything else. It's not even that unusual for the same brand and model number to actually represent several significantly different (internally) products.

                    Given that, the rational consumer buys the cheapest no-name they can find. Their odds of getting crap are about the same, but they w

                    • by TheLink (130905)
                      Yeah, I've a batch of Byford socks that are still around after 20 years (they're getting slightly threadbare but no holes, elastic bands still OK). But the recent Byford socks don't last a year without losing their elasticity - exactly the same usage and washing conditions. And I don't like the feel of many of the socks in the market nowadays - kind of too slippery.

                      I know making cheap and good socks that last 20 years is not financially viable, but it's still kinda sad that so many products today are actual
                    • by sjames (1099)

                      The reason I chose the warranty approach is the nature of the feedback. If you label your product as high quality, one of two things happens. You're actually making crap and the warranty will eat you alive or you're actually making a high quality product and you'll see few returns. The key to not getting hurt is to label your product honestly. It avoids any claims (correct or not) of bias or payoffs and leaves manufacturer and consumer free to make the tradeoffs as they see fit.

                      I'm sure many would just make

      • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:49PM (#42192895) Homepage

        On one hand, the suits associated with the behaviors past, should happen. They caused damage to consumers and to product makers. But at the same time, it somehow feels like various parties are scraping for extra cash and are seeking what I would consider to be 'last resort' means and methods to get it.

        It feels like someone within the upper tiers of the economy know something the rest of us don't (and that would be an economic collapse never seen before in human history) or that this is business as usual and I just never noticed it to this degree before.

        I recall the tremors I felt just prior to the most recent collapse. Banks were scrambling for fees and things... charging for every little thing that might be considered a service or courtesy. They knew what was coming and all the signs I saw made perfect sense once things became public. Fortunately, my brother saw it too and shifted his 401K to bonds and stuff like that so he didn't lose out at all.

        I see all these legal suits over technology as the precursor to something bigger, hairier and darker. Just not quite sure what it is just yet, but it will achieve some critical mass at some point in the near future I think. The current level of activity is certainly not sustainable.

        • by kanto (1851816)

          Such utter bullshit, can't believe this would get modded interesting. The officials should just hush it up and let price-fixing go on? That's where the money is you know, getting paid to shut up (which is why the US financial sector is still very much alive and kicking). What the fuck has /. become that this gets modded interesting? Some sort of collection point for conspiracy nuts with IPads so they think they belong in here.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Why bother prosecuting a murder? The victim is dead anyway!

      • That just makes so much sense. I can't understand why no one's thought of it sooner. Think of all the prosecution costs that could be saved! ...and prison beds!
    • by grumpyman (849537)
      1. Politicians don't initiate lawsuit like this 2. It's 1996-2005 not now 3. The alternative is let it go?
    • by SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:12PM (#42192493) Homepage

      This is what governments are for, to protect the people with legislation (treaties in EU case) and uphold them. One of those being price fixing, collusion and anti-trust.

      So, they upheld their treaties by punishing those that broke them. They did their job.

      • by icebike (68054) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:39PM (#42192771)

        This is what governments are for, to protect the people with legislation (treaties in EU case) and uphold them. One of those being price fixing, collusion and anti-trust.

        So, they upheld their treaties by punishing those that broke them. They did their job.

        The problem is, that the people are not protected. All of this happened back in the 90's and anyone who bought a tube monitor or TV
        has already been impacted by this. But waiting 20 years to fine these guys (they are also being fined by the US, Korea, Japan), does nothing
        to put money back in your pocket. It will all go to government, and be squandered on something that doesn't offset any of the tax you pay.

        Meanwhile, these companies are no longer making tubes, some are near bankruptcy anyway, and the others can pay this out of chump change.

        Where were these concerned government officials when everyone was selling CRTs at virtually identical prices?

         

        • by NatasRevol (731260) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:44PM (#42192829) Journal

          You mean those same companies that are now selling LCD TVs at virtually identical prices?

          Hmmm, wonder what a huge fine for similar behavior might have?

        • By the time the government does something, the market's already moved beyond it. Even the original grandaddy of antitrust, the Standard Oil monopoly, was only a shadow of its former self by the time the government took action. Its marketshare had been slashed in its strongest East and Midwest markets, and it was a minority in the Gulf and Western markets.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @01:29PM (#42193395)

          Legal punishment is by definition retro-active. Companies need to be able to protect themselves against false accusations, and governments need to be able to actually prove their claims. This takes time. This is also why this is a fine.

          As for the usage of the money: this obviously becomes part of the budget, which (in the EU case) means most of it goes back into the member states. Your wild claim about squandering is unfounded. The money goes to where it should be. Are governments inefficient? Yes. Does that mean the money disappears? No. If you know everything so well, come up with a better system and push for it to become law.

          • by icebike (68054)

            Are governments inefficient? Yes. Does that mean the money disappears? No.

            I have this bridge that I own, it crosses the Tarn valley. I would like to sell it to you.
            You could pay for it out of the fees you will earn by adding toll booths.

        • by pruss (246395)

          The EU press release says that people can still sue for civil remedies, as these aren't preempted by the fine, and that the EU decision can be used as a proof of fact in court. I assume there will be something like class action suits now, or does Europe not have these?

          • by icebike (68054)

            The EU press release says that people can still sue for civil remedies, as these aren't preempted by the fine, and that the EU decision can be used as a proof of fact in court. I assume there will be something like class action suits now, or does Europe not have these?

            And with other countries piling on, the goal here is clearly to bankrupt these companies.

            • by Elldallan (901501)
              If these companies earned billions in illicit profits and the people who they cheated decides to sue them all at once then yes it's quite likely but that is not a reason to not punish them. Maybe whoever replaces them will think twice about doing following in their shoes.

              Personally though I don't think that will stop this sort of behavior unless you also start sentencing the CEO's, boards and other senior leadership who was running these companies at the time to long prison sentences and high fines(and pr
              • by tqk (413719)

                Personally though I don't think that will stop this sort of behavior unless you also start sentencing the CEO's, boards and other senior leadership who was running these companies at the time to long prison sentences and high fines (and preferably figure out in what bank paradises they have their cash hidden so that you can take it back )

                The companies found at fault in this, and/or their shareholders, should be doing that to recoup their losses.

                • by Elldallan (901501)
                  No the government should be doing that, the behavior should be criminal with a long jail sentence and at least 100% fines on the estimated profits as a consequence. If the company/shareholders want to pile a civil suit on top of that of course but I definitely think the government should punish their behavior.
                  • by tqk (413719)

                    Perhaps I wasn't stating it clearly. Yes, these companies broke the rules and profited by screwing over their customers, and these companies should pay for having done so. The rules are the rules, whether we like them or not.

                    The companies/shareholders should go after their former employees (board members) for having done things that the companies/shareholders are now rightly being penalized for. They should have known about and followed the rules. That's what they were hired for; to guide the company's

                    • by tqk (413719)

                      Grr ...

                      The companies/shareholders should go after their former employees (board members) for having done things that the companies are now rightly being penalized for.

                      Sorry shareholders. My bad.

                    • by Elldallan (901501)
                      Yes I understood your meaning but my general opinion is that the main punishment to corrupt/stupid/greedy managers should come mainly from the government(if I understood your post correctly you mean that the punishment should mostly come from the company suing for losses), not the company seeking to reclaim their losses.
                      This because the company often wishes to just get these embarrassing things away from the public and thus often lets them off easily or doesn't go after them at all, and because the compani
          • Europe is not one jurisdiction, we are still 50 separate countries, and 27 of those are within the European Union.

            Those 27 countries have their own legal systems from British Common Law to German Civil Law. The EU is only a "federal" framework, the nations rule themselves. There are various forms of suits and some have "class action" options (see the EU and Collective Redress). Our national courts are far less willing or able to hand out billions of Euros. Tort in Europe in general does not result in huge p

      • Aren't those precisely the things governments do?

        Ask yourself which price fixing affects your life more.
        Price fixing on TVs or LCDs.

        Or price fixing on healthcare, education, construction...
        Public sector union wages are price fixing.
        Professional restrictions are also price fixing.
        In places like Ontario, there is a great deal of collusion between government, insurance, and private medical providers.

        I am mandated to buy extra benefits I don't need... not to protect someone else if I hit them ( a valid argument

        • by tqk (413719)

          They don't have a leg to stand on when they accuse companies of price fixing when technology seems to move quickly and prices keep falling.

          CRTs had a long run, from ca. the forties through the early 21st Century. Going to these lengths, these companies were probably just trying to wring the last few pennies out of a soon to be obsolete tech.

    • by DragonWriter (970822) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:23PM (#42192607)

      Politicians don't have better things to worry about?

      Governments are set up to do more than one thing at a time. And, yes, people still use CRT TVs and monitors, and, more importantly, they still did between 1996 and 2005, the time period of the actions which are the subject of these sanctions. Major prosecutions take time.

      • by Nyder (754090)

        Politicians don't have better things to worry about?

        Governments are set up to do more than one thing at a time.

        And, yes, people still use CRT TVs and monitors, and, more importantly, they still did between 1996 and 2005, the time period of the actions which are the subject of these sanctions. Major prosecutions take time.

        So where is my money? I'm the one who got abused by their price fixing. Oh, i'm not going to see a dime of it? ya, figures. Like my government needs more of my money, they already proved they are war junkies.

        • by dkf (304284)

          So where is my money?

          What, all approximately 3 EUR of it? (That is, 1.5 billion euros / 500 million people. Ballpark correct figure anyway.) Not worth mailing individual sums out to people for that little; that would be just acting as a subsidy for postal services. If you want money back personally, sue the manufacturer of the products you bought yourself (assuming they're one of the fined corporations or a local subsidiary); you should find it easy enough to prove your case now that they've been penalized...

        • So where is my money?

          AFAIK, most countries with antitrust laws permit private actions by injured parties to recover damages. Because the harms are often diffuse harms that make such private actions not worth the cost of pursuing them, they also generally permit public action to restrain the prohibited conduct and to recover fines which, in theory, serve both as deterrent and indirect compensation for the diffuse public harm, as they are then spent on public priorities which either would not be funded wit

      • by antdude (79039)

        I know a lot of people who still use CRT like old people like my parents. I even use a Sharp 20" CRT TV from 1996! We will replace them when we need to.

    • Can you think of a better way to get private companies to fill the holes in the government budget?
    • Criminals shouldn't be punished? Politicians try cases?

  • And now what? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ranulf (182665) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:02PM (#42192371)
    How does this actually help someone who's bought a TV or monitor during this time? Most people probably won't have the receipts for these TVs or monitors now, and in many cases have probably already thrown them out or given them away to make room for an LCD replacement...
    • by Dr. Evil (3501)

      Hopefully they'll think twice about price fixing LCDs, SSDs or other components.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Amouth (879122)

        you realize they have already been convicted of price fixing LCD's

    • by pclminion (145572)
      Strange -- do you also expect murder trials to bring the victims back to life?
      • by sjames (1099)

        If it was within the court's power, I would *certainly* expect it.

        • by pclminion (145572)
          If it was within our power to resurrect the dead, there would be no need for laws against murder. Killing somebody would just be a way of inconveniencing them temporarily -- murder would be a type of harassment.
          • by sjames (1099)

            It would still be an assault and I presume it might hurt. The defendant would still be on the hook for the cost of the resurrection.

    • How does this actually help someone who's bought a TV or monitor during this time?

      Directly, it doesn't. Government litigation -- which this is -- isn't generally aimed at direct compensation of individual victims for harms (that's what direct litigation by victims is for), its to deal with diffuse harms by creating a disincentive to commit them by taking away ill-gotten gains (and, at the same time, to do some indirect compensation for those harmed that are represented by the government, since the fines c

    • by Bob9113 (14996)

      How does this actually help someone who's bought a TV or monitor during this time?

      It is similar to how incarcerating a person who commits assault helps the person who was assaulted. It helps society in much the same way, and that is the larger goal. If you sincerely think about it for a minute, you should be able to figure it out.

    • well - if you're a company that bought hundreds of the things, then it might help you a lot.

      read the bottom of the press release; You can use the EU judgement in court as absolute proof that price fixing went on, and they specifically state that damages (payable to you) should not be reduced on account of the fine already levied.

      frankly - if I had purchased an expensive TV in that period, I'd be tempted to take a small claims case now just for fun.

    • Because those decadent Caribbean vacations, err political summits, are going to be paid for by those sinner companies instead of the tax payer. Jeez, some people need a billboard in front of their face before they get it...
  • Why!? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EzInKy (115248) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:12PM (#42192499)

    What would it take for us Americans to get a government that favors individuals over corporations? Perhaps a new
    Supreme Court? The current one seems to think that corporations are people.

    • I thought corporations were individuals in the USA?

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by slashmydots (2189826)
      None of those manufacturers are in the US and any Asian company is all about lying, stealing, and cheating their way to a profit. They're taught to operate their business that way because they have no ethics or morals when it comes to money. Maybe you missed that corporate spyware espionage story a couple stories down?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MightyYar (622222)

      I want the New York Times, the media corporation, to have free speech. Granting the Times free speech and not more politically-motivated corporations free speech is a very difficult problem to solve. I can't really fault the Supreme Court.

      I think we need to re-examine what we want corporations to be, in a more general sense. There should be a huge amount of support for reform, but for some reason there is not. On the left, people love to hate corporations. On the right, the more libertarian-leaning folks sh

      • I want the New York Times, the media corporation, to have free speech.

        All the people that work the the Times do have free speech so in principle you already have what you want. You just don't want to limit the individual's right to free speech because it happens under the aegis of a corporation.

        • by MightyYar (622222)

          Point is, I want the NY Times product - the newspaper - to have very broad speech protections, probably almost the same protection afforded to the individual employees. Maybe the answer is that the NY Times shouldn't be a corporation if it wants freedom of speech. I don't know, I don't pretend to be that smart. But I can certainly see the difficult position SCOTUS was in.

          • Point is, I want the NY Times product - the newspaper - to have very broad speech protections, probably almost the same protection afforded to the individual employees.

            A corporation is a fictional entity. It is merely an association of individuals. Nothing wrong with that at all but a corporation by definition has no voice of its own. It's like a puppet, it only can say what the person controlling it wants it to say and the person controlling it already has free speech rights. The important bit is to make sure we don't limit the speech of individuals by limiting the corporation. (basically I'm agreeing with you) The solution SCOTUS came up with to solve this dilemma

            • by MightyYar (622222)

              I agree that they could have made a better decision, but the problem with my argument is that I don't pretend to be savvy enough in the finer points of constitutional law to say how it could have been made better. I just think the decision should be more of a wakeup call that we need to change the way we use corporations than yet another wedge issue. For me, my initial reaction was "WTF???" and then I read the decision and it was actually pretty reasonable. At that point, I started wondering how the hell we

        • by iceperson (582205)
          So it's not freedom of speech you don't agree with, it's freedom of association?
      • Free speech? The the western media outlets have free speech. They just happen to "speech" what ever political agenda their CEOs ask of them.
        • by MightyYar (622222)

          So what is your argument exactly? We shouldn't have free newspapers? Or the NY Times, as a corporation, should not have the right to publish a free newspaper?

    • Re:Why!? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @01:42PM (#42193561)

      Next time you vote, make sure it's for someone that doesn't have a (D) or an (R) next to their name. That's how.

    • by Guppy06 (410832)

      Perhaps a new Supreme Court?

      The courts can't do anything with non-existent consumer protection laws.

    • by ShakaUVM (157947)

      >>The current one seems to think that corporations are people.

      I hear this a lot from Colbert-heads.

      Do corporations have freedom of speech? Should they be immune to the government taking their shit whenever it wants?

      If you say yes, than you think "corporations are people" the same way the SCOTUS does. Corporate personhood isn't an especially novel or pernicious concept.

      What *is* the actual issue is if corporations should be able to bribe politicians with campaign donations. I don't think they should. C

  • by SuperCharlie (1068072) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:25PM (#42192623)
    The consumer will pay the fines in higher prices. Take the boards and the CEOs responsible to jail if you want to make a dent in this, all the fines will do is tack on a fine tax to their products. Thanks.
    • I bet you they made far more in profit than the cost of the fines.

    • by PPH (736903)

      Take the fines in the form of equity. It hits the owners (shareholders) by diluting their equity. And with enough equity, the government can become an activist shareholder and move around a few managers or set pay. Look how GM and the banks screamed when the bailout was given in the form of equity.

      • Take the fines in the form of equity. It hits the owners (shareholders) by diluting their equity. And with enough equity, the government can become an activist shareholder and move around a few managers or set pay.

        Governments have significant conflicts of interest and are generally not well equipped to manage corporations. If you are a competitor to a company that has the government as a shareholder, you can easily find yourself in a very bad situation because it is no longer a level playing field. The government can change the laws to favor the company they own.

        Look how GM and the banks screamed when the bailout was given in the form of equity.

        The government did not take an equity stake in most banks. They did give them some loan covenants which the banks were not happy about but frankly who car

        • by PPH (736903)

          Governments have significant conflicts of interest and are generally not well equipped to manage corporations.

          I hear this argument often. But I never seem to hear any evidence to support this position. First; owning equity in and managing a corporation are two different things. I'm not 'well equipped' to manage a corporation. And yet, I own a share of many (significant shares in a few). Second; governments often manage budgets and staffs that dwarf many corporations. And in some cases, they do a reasonable job. Not always great, but if the same public oversight was applied to the inefficiencies of some private orpo

    • Take the boards and the CEOs responsible to jail if you want to make a dent in this, all the fines will do is tack on a fine tax to their products.

      Do you seriously think there would be no negative consequences from making company officers personally liable for the actions of the company regardless of whether they personally were the cause? The ENTIRE reason corporations exist is to shield the shareholders and employees of the company from many forms of personal liability. Without this shield much of modern commerce would not be possible because the risk would simply be too high. Even if they were willing to accept the risk, prices of their products

      • You bring up some very thought provoking and informative points. Kudos to you.

        It would seem that the responsibility and punishments should fall on those responsible for breaking the law, not as merely chain of command cut off the leader's head for subordinates breaking of the law.

        There seems to be a problem when someone who breaks a law goes to jail but when a group of people band together and someone breaks the law no one goes to jail. In the latter, you end up making decisions based on cost/benefit ra
      • So, let's jail the people who broke the law. The company cannot do anything - its the people that do things and can break laws.

        So, in each of the companies that were found guilty there was somebody who decided that price fixing was a good idea and negotiated it with the other companies. Someone approved this policy (I can talk about price fixing with a sysadmin from another company all day, but nothing is going to happen unless the management of my and his company approve of the deal). That someone should g

    • The consumer will pay the fines in higher prices.

      Or: The consumer will pay less taxes as the fine is paid to the governments. Equally improbable.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So this is what now? The 4th price fixing cartel spanning the late 90s and early 2000s that Samsung has been a part of? But since they make Android phones we'll just ignore that while painting Apple as evil, right?

    • So this is what now? The 4th price fixing cartel spanning the late 90s and early 2000s that Samsung has been a part of? But since they make Android phones we'll just ignore that while painting Apple as evil, right?

      Philips, LG Electronics, Samsung SDI,

      Sony was one of the top players for CRT during that this time. Somehow they managed to stay out of it. I've pretty much come to the conclusion that all companies are pulling this kind of shit. Some are just better at not getting caught than others.

  • The EU has many issues, but prosecution of anti-competitive behavior is one of the areas where they shine. I bought a big Philips 'flatscreen' (i.e. the front is flat, it sticks out half a meter on the backside) for around 1200 euro circa 2001, so can I now claim some of my money back? (Related bonus question, since this is Slashdot: A somewhat obsolute piece of electronics weighing 50 kg is collecting dust in my living room. It is still working perfectly, but has only scart and analog coax inputs. Resolut
  • by cohomology (111648) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:17PM (#42194033)

    I don't care what others say - LCD's, LED's, and Plasma Panels just can't provide the softness and warmth of a CRT. They will never go out of style.

    • by kimvette (919543)

      Okay, you enjoy your 360-line blurry CRT, and vinyl and wax cylinder recordings.

      The rest of society will enjoy great-sounding audio (excessive audio dynamic range compression notwithstanding - that has more to do with lousy sound engineering than the medium) and video.

      • Vinyl records sound great. So do properly mastered CDs. However, most vinyl records were produced without the excessive compression and most CDs are produced with it (even re-releases of old music - they put in extra effort to compress the dynamic range to make it sound bad).

        There are also CRT HDTVs and monitors that have high resolution. I bought a CRT HDTV (and not a very good one, but this was pretty much the only option I found, if I find a better CRT TV I'll buy it) because even though it has lower res

        • by kimvette (919543)

          CD offers far wider dynamic range than any vinyl record ever did or will. Don't blame the technology for sound engineer incompetence, apathy, or record companies' mantra "LOUDER IS BETTER!" Take Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon for example ; the dynamic range is incredible and not compressed to shit, and the recent Immersion box set is breathtaking.

          • I did not blame the CD for the compression, I just stated a fact that a lot of CDs are compressed, so if I am into older music I might as well buy the record, since the re-release on CD is likely to be compressed. I have a great sounding recording of "1812" on CD with over 30dB of dynamic range (when the cannons fire you really feel it) that would be difficult to achieve on a record. So, in theory, CDs sound better than records. In practice, a lot of them don't trough no fault of the medium.

            Add to that the

  • I can think of several monopolist schemes that have been price fixing for years...

    De Beers Diamond price fixing anyone?
    OPEC Crude Oil price fixing?
    Pfizer Pharma price fixing?

    List goes on... Point is, why such a small segment?

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