WHERE ARE THE DAMNED COPS?
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-11-06 08:40 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 362 references Ignore this thread
WHERE ARE THE DAMNED COPS?
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Folks, it is unlawful to act to monopolize or otherwise restrain trade.  So says 15 USC Chapter 1.  It has been illegal for 100 years.

Acting with the motive of putting other people out of business by destroying their customer base without a profit motive for yourself is, quite-obviously, an attempt to monopolize or restrain trade.  It is unlawful.

Cross-subsidization for this purpose within a company is, I maintain, illegal.  It has been illegal for 100 years.  Go read the law for yourself; you need only attempt to monopolize or restrain trade to commit a felony.

But now comes this:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) is cutting prices of products from third-party sellers on its website, moving beyond its more typical method of discounts on items it sells directly.

This is the taking of an intentional loss on someone else's product you distribute; you are basically bribing someone to sell a product on your platform for the specific purpose of taking market share from someone else with no capacity to profit from the transaction since you are now subsidizing the purchase DIRECTLY.

Not only is this very-arguably illegal under 15 USC Chapter 1 it also is the very definition of Nexus since you are not a mere "listing site" as Amazon has claimed and thus we now have both civil and criminal sales-tax evasion with regards to so-called "third party" sellers as well.

I remind you that Amazon's original scheme was to have various "independent" LLCs (which never made any money and were all effective captive entities) own their distribution centers and other infrastructure in a given state and thus Amazon claimed they didn't have "Nexus" for sales taxes.  I came up with that idea in the 1990s when running MCSNet and was told by my corporate counsel that if I tried it I'd probably go to prison, as it was a very-transparent act of tax evasion (not avoidance) and I should expect spinney-colored lighting on top of vehicles to show up at my office full of not-so-nice men bearing handcuffs, never mind the high probability of ruinous fines being imposed.

Well, Amazon did the same thing and nobody went to jail, yet they clearly knew they'd lose in court since they stopped state-by-state when challenged instead of fighting it out through legal proceedings.  Well guess what -- if it was illegal and Jeff Bezos knew it (it sure looks that way to me -- in other words my corporate counsel was right) then where were the damned handcuffs for Jeff Bezos and the rest of the board and why were they "allowed" to simply "start collecting" one at a time instead of hammering them for both civil and criminal liability for their knowingly-illegal and intentional past conduct?

But did they start charging and collecting sales tax for so-called "third-party" sellers at the same time?  No, the insult did not stop with their own products despite taking the money and in fact, now as we see, they're also indirectly setting prices.  If that doesn't establish direct involvement in the transaction and thus Nexus....... 

This, my friends, is why I will not set up a company in this environment, I will not engage in entrepreneurial activity, and I will not urge others to do so.  You are expected to follow the law under threat of both fines and imprisonment but the "big guys" who you have to take on will not and when they do not, destroying your business through their conduct which they know is civilly or even criminally illegal they will not be punished.

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Aquapura
Posts: 673
Incept: 2012-04-19

South of Canada
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Saw this on the local tee-vee new this morning and was wondering how long it'd take to see a ticker on this. Straight up said Amazon would cover the difference in order to cut 3rd party sellers prices. Was reported like it were a Black Friday loss leader type sale. Yep, that's what passes for reporting in America today.

I've long ago steered away from making purchases on Amazon for a multitude of reasons. The egregiousness of this one is mind blowing. I'm sure Amazon sales will spike due to the idiocy of their loyal base.
Dapper_fapper
Posts: 4
Incept: 2017-11-06

texas
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.... The cops dont show up because the prosecutors that would send them have been paid off and are corrupted up to their eyeballs. Thats why.

There are over 70,000 registered lobbyists in washington DC dragging wheeled suitcases full of pre written bills, speech writing fee arrangements, insider trading tips, and juicy job offers up and down the halls of congress.

it took a long long time for things to get this way, but its exactly the way they like it.

What can Grandma do, but send a polite handwritten note to their politician? Guess who wins?

How else does a new congressperson enter Congress with only 100k to their name and mysteriously hit 9 or 10 figure wealth in less than 10 years?
Bodhi
Posts: 144
Incept: 2008-02-23

Georgia
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I rarely buy anything on Amazon as they are seldom the least expensive and their shipping times have gotten intolerable. I closed my Amazon Prime account almost 2 years ago. After reading your article I went to Amazon to close my seller account. I hadn't sold anything in over a year and was presented with a message that my ability to add listings had been disabled due to "limited activity." They obviously want to be rid of all the small vendors and were likely not the least unhappy to have me delete my seller account. The only things I will go to Amazon's website for anymore are item descriptions and reviews. I'm done.
Click
Posts: 37
Incept: 2017-06-26

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The rule of law is no longer for the too-big-to-fail crony-capitalists. Those companies, banks and politically connected are all exempt. And they have been for a long time. Hollywood (including Netflix) is corrupt beyond redemption. Hollywood is exempt. Many of the church groups are Marxist in their economic opinions; therefore, they, too, are corrupt. Look around: degradation is everywhere. The education system is almost completely fallen into a Marxist swine hole.

I knew a long time ago that Hollywood was the enemy. And it didn't take House of Cards ( or Spacey) to figure out that most actors were enemies, too. AMZN is an enemy. So is Walmart. So are the other FANGs ... The USSA government is mostly an enemy of the Constitution and those who adhere to Individual Rights.

Being surrounded by enemies of the rule of law and the Constitution is nothing new to me. But what do I do? Stop doing business with all of the FANGs? Stop watching movies? Stop purchasing from AMZN? Stop pumping gas because the transnational oil companies are the enemy? Stop going to the Four Seasons because Prince Alwaleed is corrupt? Stop using my desktop because Bill Gates is an enemy of freedom?

What I've decided to do is stockpile as many goods as I can from whomever sells it at the best price. I'll still watch selected movies from whomever provides them at the best price. I supported Trump only because Hillary would have moved to take my guns away. What I've decided to do is fight the system by being ready for its collapse.

And really, that's the bottom line. I've always known that in the end ( when the American Empire finally collapses) that guns, gold, grub and other survival gear will be what makes the difference --- but mostly guns. Whomever has the guns has an advantage over those who don't...

Staying away from crowds will become a survival strategy. Best to prepare now, and take advantage of the cheap bread and circus while it lasts... Of course, that doesn't mean you don't boycott guys like Spacey or vote against Hillary. But my advice is choose your battles wisely.
Aztrader
Posts: 7869
Incept: 2007-09-10

Scottsdale, AZ
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I will wait and see if the try anything with my product line. They juice their stock with BS earnings and now take that additional leverage to inflict losses on the competition.
Where the hell is the Anti-trust on this?
Tickerguy
Posts: 150409
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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Allegedly they allow third-party sellers to "opt out." Now tell me exactly what that does for you given that (1) it's ILLEGAL for you to collude with your competitors to ALL opt out, and YOU WILL be prosecuted while (2) if just ONE defects everyone else gets it up the ass until they can taste it.

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Winding it down.
Aztrader
Posts: 7869
Incept: 2007-09-10

Scottsdale, AZ
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Amazon is known as a bully and I doubt that they will offer an opt out. They simply will close those stores that don't comply with what they deem is necessary.
Third party vendors are at the bottom of Amazon's food chain. It will be interesting to see what happens.
Tickerguy
Posts: 150409
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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Oh I suspect they'll offer it.

If you "Elect" it they will simply redirect to "close my seller account"....

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Winding it down.
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