Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 70
  1. #21
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,740
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    That being said, if all retailers got together and decided that "we're all going to charge $3.25 for this Dr. Pepper," that's a cartel, and that's illegal under the anti-trust laws we've had on the books for over a century. Now, such is nigh impossible for soft drinks because of the sheer number and type of retailers that sell them, but when you have only half a dozen national chains selling computer games, such is not outside the realm of possibility.

    As such, when Steam say that they're matching the prices of local retailers, that does indeed smack of price-fixing, and as it is an explicit agreement (as they've admitted it themselves) limiting their competition (as Steam would, being an online retailer, always get games before brick & mortars and always be able to sell them cheaper, but is choosing not to), it can technically be defined as a cartel. With that in mind, finding ways to combat it legally are well within his rights and probably the duty outright of the Australian government.
    the thing is...
    the laws says it must be anti-competitive. what steam does is NOT as it does not harm the market. quite opposite as it prevents steam from destroying retailers who could not lower their prices to steam level (there are a lot of reasons why a boxed game costs up to 110 american dollars in a shop)

    and what deano said is incorrect: you can charge what you want for whatever you sell as long as you don't control the market.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resale_price_maintenance
    sellers forcing resallers to sell at set price is illegal.
    And i bought quite few times a magazine, or newspaper at lower price. sometimes it was damaged, sometimes it was a bit old and sometimes they were running a promotion (get a coffee and a paper is 50% off)

  2. #22
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    NY f'n C
    Posts
    10,000
    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    the thing is...
    the laws says it must be anti-competitive. what steam does is NOT as it does not harm the market. quite opposite as it prevents steam from destroying retailers who could not lower their prices to steam level (there are a lot of reasons why a boxed game costs up to 110 american dollars in a shop)
    Anti-trust laws defend the consumer, not the company. There is and should be no government guarantee that an obsolete company should yet remain. Tower and Virgin Records are dead in America, after all.

    There is no law that requires that Valve has to allow GAME to remain in existence, any more than electric trolleys had to limit themselves as to be on equal terms with horse-drawn trolleys.

    The reason games are so expensive in Australia is because it's expensive to ship to Australia. Online there are no oceans. That's a competitive advantage. Anti-trust laws were not meant to undermine that.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  3. #23
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,740
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Anti-trust laws defend the consumer, not the company. There is and should be no government guarantee that an obsolete company should yet remain. Tower and Virgin Records are dead in America, after all.

    There is no law that requires that Valve has to allow GAME to remain in existence, any more than electric trolleys had to limit themselves as to be on equal terms with horse-drawn trolleys.

    The reason games are so expensive in Australia is because it's expensive to ship to Australia. Online there are no oceans. That's a competitive advantage. Anti-trust laws were not meant to undermine that.
    the thing is. Customers do not deserve lower prices. They deserve competitive market where companies can sale without obstruction from other companies (whether main sellers or competitors) which could prevent lower prices and customers deserve that they are protected from companies working together to squeeze as much money from customers as it is possible (aka control the market).
    Steam does not work with other game sellers, therefore they really can charge what they want. They really do not need to make themselves more competitive.
    So if publishers make steam games so expensive by demanding high cuts from each game sold, then the only entity which can complain is steam.
    Customers are not hurt as they have many other independent game salers to choose from.

    unless of course steam does cooperate with jbhifi, game and ebgames (three major game retailers in Australia) then we have a problem.

  4. #24
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    3,744
    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    and what deano said is incorrect: you can charge what you want for whatever you sell as long as you don't control the market.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resale_price_maintenance
    sellers forcing resallers to sell at set price is illegal.
    And i bought quite few times a magazine, or newspaper at lower price. sometimes it was damaged, sometimes it was a bit old and sometimes they were running a promotion (get a coffee and a paper is 50% off)
    I wiki your wiki - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_fixing - in the UK it's legal for newspapers and magazines. Guess not for sweets, technically you could sticker over the price with your own price, but that leaves your customer pissed off and you will a big job for not much gain I guess.

  5. #25
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,740
    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    I wiki your wiki - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_fixing - in the UK it's legal for newspapers and magazines. Guess not for sweets, technically you could sticker over the price with your own price, but that leaves your customer pissed off and you will a big job for not much gain I guess.
    I did say before it can vary from country to country. we are speaking about australia. From your link:
    Price fixing is illegal in Australia under the Consumer and Competition Act 2010 which have considerably similar prohibitions to the US and Canadian prohibitions. The Act is administered and enforced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Section 48 of the Comsumer and Competition Act 2010 (Cth) explictly states that; "A corporation shall not engage in the practise of resale price maintainence." For a broader understanding of this statutary provision, we refer to Section 96(3)of the Consumer and Competition Act 2010 (Cth) that broadly defines what can and what potentially constitue resale price maintainence.

    So UK laws is irrelevant don't you agree :)

    whether following the suggested retail price is wise or not is only a decision of reseller. A producer can put a suggested retail price on anything really (not 100% sure but I did not hear about something being prohibited from having a suggested retail price) but resellers do not have to abide it at all.
    magazines and newspapers from UK are exception.
    Last edited by Lukasz; 22-11-2011 at 11:07 PM.

  6. #26
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    NY f'n C
    Posts
    10,000
    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    Steam does not work with other game sellers, therefore they really can charge what they want. They really do not need to make themselves more competitive.
    Valve has made deals with brick & mortar retailers before (most notably GAME in the UK), and ultimately the legal argument for this case, if it were held in America, hinges on whether this collusion (since they basically admitted to fixing the prices) is explicit - ie: whether they contacted the local retailers to hammer out this deal where they wouldn't undercut them and steal the market - and as such it depends on the wording of Australia's 2010 Act.

    Again, anti-trust laws are put in place so consumers won't get gouged. Consumers are currently getting gouged.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  7. #27
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,740
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Valve has made deals with brick & mortar retailers before (most notably GAME in the UK), and ultimately the legal argument for this case, if it were held in America, hinges on whether this collusion (since they basically admitted to fixing the prices) is explicit - ie: whether they contacted the local retailers to hammer out this deal where they wouldn't undercut them and steal the market - and as such it depends on the wording of Australia's 2010 Act.
    Yeah. that might be a problem.

    Again, anti-trust laws are put in place so consumers won't get gouged. Consumers are currently getting gouged.
    No. Customers can be as gouged as much as companies want, as long as customers have a choice. Ant-trust laws protect us only to the extent of protecting us from companies working together to gauge us.
    if everyone is independent they are not obligated to not gauge us.

    so if Valve did not sit down with retailers and promised them not to sell at lower price point than they do, then valve has no obligation to be more competitive than it currently is.

  8. #28
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    NY f'n C
    Posts
    10,000
    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    so if Valve did not sit down with retailers and promised them not to sell at lower price point than they do, then valve has no obligation to be more competitive than it currently is.
    True, but they'd be hurting their own business interests - namely, domination of the market - which is why this whole thing is fishy. Competition is sacrosanct because it drives down prices, so artificially high prices imply anti-competitive prices.

    Case in point, Steam's competitors are D2D and Impulse, not brick & mortars. Brick & mortars are dead - they just don't know it yet - so to keep prices at brick & mortar levels - and the fact that nobody has undercut them - seems to be an artificial construct that deserves investigation.
    Last edited by Nalano; 22-11-2011 at 11:34 PM.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  9. #29
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,740
    Digital distribution is not strong enough to beat brick and mortars yet. Retailers are not required to stack up a product if they believe it won't make them a profit.
    And majority of sales for AAA titles is via retailers.

    So if retailers do not stack up the product because digital sales take away their profit then publishers will lose money.

    Publishers cannot allow that to happen. Therefore they are playing nice and do not challenge them with lower prices on digital products and steam and other shops cooperate.

    There is no clear picture of price fixation, who is a bad guy here. Everyone wants to just stay in business. There will be a time when big publishers just like indies now, will stop caring whether retailers advertise their products, whether they stack it.
    It is not the time now. Big players cannot lose their current major source of income by removing their products from shops.

  10. #30
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    NY f'n C
    Posts
    10,000
    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    Digital distribution is not strong enough to beat brick and mortars yet.
    Actually, they've matched them sale for sale two years ago, of which Steam has 70% share. And if brick & mortars are undercut, sales don't decline - the distribution model changes.
    Last edited by Nalano; 22-11-2011 at 11:57 PM.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  11. #31
    Obscure Node
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    Digital distribution is not strong enough to beat brick and mortars yet.
    Tell that to Angus and Robertson.

    http://www.theage.com.au/business/li...616-1g4un.html

  12. #32
    Obscure Node
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Valve has made deals with brick & mortar retailers before (most notably GAME in the UK), and ultimately the legal argument for this case, if it were held in America, hinges on whether this collusion (since they basically admitted to fixing the prices) is explicit - ie: whether they contacted the local retailers to hammer out this deal where they wouldn't undercut them and steal the market - and as such it depends on the wording of Australia's 2010 Act.
    That hit's the nail on the head.

    The Act states that ANY pricing agreements need to be acknowledged by the ACCC. If they are not, it constitutes cartel like behavior, and is a civil and criminal offense.

    And Lukasz, please don't misunderstand 'pricing agreement' to mean the agreement between the publisher and Valve as to the percentage each will get from the sale, that's not what we're talking about here.
    Last edited by nikolai; 23-11-2011 at 12:26 AM.

  13. #33
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,740
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Actually, they've matched them sale for sale two years ago, of which Steam has 70% share. And if brick & mortars are undercut, sales don't decline - the distribution model changes.
    I am questioning this numbers as none of the digitial sellers release numbers. And publishers dont often do that themsevles. TW2 for example sold more via retail than all digital sales combined. sure. they benefited from kickass retail version but it still shows that retail is strong.

    and you are missing one thing. that retailers will stop stocking up games which don't provide them with enough income. so if steam cuts too much of retailers' profit, they will simply stop selling the game and sell something more profitable, therefore publishers will lose significant income. Sales will decline because retail sales will diminish. and not everybody wants to buy games via internet. especially in australia where you have downloads limits, slow and expensive internet connection.
    That they are split half and half means that digital distribution is not strong enough to completely abandon retail. if the split is 90-10 we can talk about abandoning that 10 percent completely. They cannot do that now in my opinion and the whole situation with steam and UK seems to confirm that.

    @nikolai
    Tell them what? That they should invest in online sale of books? cause that's what amazon does and it is the biggest bookshop of the world. Not sure what relevance that piece of info has (its sad btw. i don't like when bookshop close. I hate buying books over the net. :( )

  14. #34
    Obscure Node
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    Tell them what? That they should invest in online sale of books? cause that's what amazon does and it is the biggest bookshop of the world. Not sure what relevance that piece of info has (its sad btw. i don't like when bookshop close. I hate buying books over the net. :( )
    The relevance is that online book sales destroyed the brick and mortar booksellers in Australia. This is exactly how the free market is supposed to work. It's the core principle of capitalism - the best service/product wins, and like it or not, others die.

    We should have already seen this happen years ago with the video games industry, given the medium.

  15. #35
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    NY f'n C
    Posts
    10,000
    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    and you are missing one thing. that retailers will stop stocking up games which don't provide them with enough income.
    THEY ALREADY FUCKING DO THAT.

    Have you been in a GameStop in the last five years? Fuck, Best Buy has a better stock of PC games than the store dedicated to games.

    Look, Borders died. Blockbuster died. Tower died. Virgin died. And, yet, somehow their respective industries not only survive, but thrive, with more sales than ever. Gaming is no different.
    Last edited by Nalano; 23-11-2011 at 01:25 AM.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  16. #36
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    3,744
    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    So UK laws is irrelevant don't you agree :)
    Quite, so why did you link me to a wiki page that only had info on the UK and US then? I assumed you'd moved on.

    Thing is, Steam isn't actually re-selling anything. They're just offering a conduit to buy the 'goods' directly from the manufacturer. They're not buying in then re-selling. Like I say, they're agents. I don't think any laws relating to re-selling would apply. And if the publisher is selling 'direct' which is essentially what happens with digital distribution, then I think they're allowed to set whatever price they want. If they do that by looking at what the high street is charging and picking a price in that ballpark then that's also not an issue. The publisher isn't working with the shops, it's just reacting to the market.

    And of course, the retailer is never obliged to carry a product, so publishers won't want to upset them. And good as digital distribution is, it doesn't change the fact that there's a major gaming retail store in every town and having stuff in the window and on display is a huge part of marketing a new title. There's no requirement for a formal agreement because it's in everyone's best interest for everyone else to keep doing okay.

  17. #37
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    3,744
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Look, Borders died. Blockbuster died. Tower died. Virgin died. And, yet, somehow their respective industries not only survive, but thrive, with more sales than ever. Gaming is no different.
    Thing is, there are still bookshops, there are still DVD shops and there are still record shops. Pretty much just one of each left now, but there is still a high street presence because it is important for the sake of visibility. And for gaming even more so given how large the trade-in market is. Firms close down, but none of these mediums vanish entirely.

    Valve has made deals with brick & mortar retailers before (most notably GAME in the UK), and ultimately the legal argument for this case, if it were held in America, hinges on whether this collusion (since they basically admitted to fixing the prices)
    Wait, are these facts or 'facts' - isn't the whole GAME thing that thing that came up months ago that no-one could substantiate? And admitting that you look at what retail stores sell the game for then set prices accordingly isn't price fixing. It's just reacting to the competition. If they looked at those prices to undercut them, then no-one would be complaining. But they don't. They set them around the same level, because it's not Steam that's setting the price, it's the publisher, because you're not buying from Steam, they're just an enabler, you're buying from the publisher. And the publisher likes the high street and doesn't want to undercut itself.

    The prices aren't being fixed because GAME et al could still turn around tomorrow and drop their prices if they wanted - GAME did it yonks ago when they were called something else in the UK, Playstation era, around the time Tekken 3 came out, they decided that no game would be more than 29.99 in store, all new releases: 29.99. Lasted for a good while (when 39.99 was the standard price and 44.99 was not uncommon).

  18. #38
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Terra Australis Incognita
    Posts
    4,517
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Have you been in a GameStop in the last five years? Fuck, Best Buy has a better stock of PC games than the store dedicated to games.
    EDIT: Okay EB Games = GameStop apparently, sorry I didn't know that.

    Interestingly enough, at least at my local EB Games (and any of them I've walked into over the last few years) there's always been PC games on the shelves, in boxes and stuff, to a significant number. I don't think the elimination of the PC game market in regular retail game shops has spread to Australia.

    To the OP: Clearly you're educated on the subject, so I wish you the best of luck! It pisses me off that a digital copy costs the same as a physical copy with printed everything and associated shipping costs.
    Last edited by soldant; 23-11-2011 at 02:22 AM. Reason: Thought EB Games != GameStop, corrected accordingly.

  19. #39
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    NY f'n C
    Posts
    10,000
    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    Thing is, there are still bookshops, there are still DVD shops and there are still record shops. Pretty much just one of each left now, but there is still a high street presence because it is important for the sake of visibility.
    No. People don't browse anymore. The shops of that nature that are left in this city are the ones that have heavily specialized to niches and rely on repeat customers. General interest stores have gone the way of the dodo, and are no longer the primary means of achieving notoriety. Barnes & Nobles is dying in this city, but indie bookstores (with Strand being the largest) are keeping up, mostly due to very deep stocks in niche categories and a standard in staffing that practically requires an MFA. (I've seen their applications. I'm well-read, but damn.)

    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    Wait, are these facts or 'facts'
    Are you waiting for Valve to commit perjury or are you going to put two and two together?

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    EDIT: Okay EB Games = GameStop apparently, sorry I didn't know that.
    Aye. Here in the States they stock four copies of the top two releases and a couple dozen WoW timecards.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  20. #40
    Obscure Node
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    The prices aren't being fixed because...
    Are you asserting prices are not being fixed in the UK or Australia? If the later, there are a number of problems with your prior paragraph;
    Mainly: "it's not Steam that's setting the price, it's the publisher" - That IS price fixing (according to our law.)
    But also: "because you're not buying from Steam, they're just an enabler, you're buying from the publisher." - Does your credit card statement list Valve Corp. or Electronic Arts?

    Soldant, I currently work in Intellectual Property law (or Imaginary Property as I call it.) But I do have some knowledge of consumer law. I do have colleagues I can call on when I'm uncertain, but the problem is often that the legal industry at large is somewhat isolated and ignorant of digital rights issues in Australia. There's really not a huge amount of precedent to go by, a lot of these things are being tested for the first time.
    Last edited by nikolai; 23-11-2011 at 02:37 AM. Reason: Grammar

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •