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downtown bars vs. the price-fixing lawsuit

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?

Do you think campus bars engaged in a conspiracy of pricegouging?

Poll ended at Thu Oct 20, 2005 3:22 pm

Yes, that Fishbowl was a ripoff!
1
6%
Duh, maybe, I don't know.
2
12%
No, they were just pawns like everybody else.
14
82%
 
Total votes : 17

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Oct 11, 2005 11:27 am

Also add in a business, whose property is worth close to a million.

I don't have access to his bank account info. Maybe you can ask him.
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Postby roadkill bill » Tue Oct 11, 2005 12:19 pm

You forgot his Middleton location. Not sure if he owns that or not. Middleton ownership records aren't on-line.

Of course, Marshall the Marshall made lots of money before he became a bar owner and toady for the Tavern League. That's what makes his "you're killing mom and pop businesses like mine" so idiotic. He is the last person, and the Gritty the last bar, to be hurt by the smoking ban.

Of course, I haven't had much success taking him seriously since he tried to block Dotty's from locating a block away. He was worried about too many bars in the area. More likely, he was worried about another burger joint and the competition. He has never spoken out against any other bars locating in his realm.

By the way, Dotty's on Francis was smoke-free from the start.
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Postby supaunknown » Tue Oct 11, 2005 12:21 pm

Price fixing? I just didn't see it. Campus bars did collectively agree to avoid offering drink specials in order to appease the UW. In hindsight, maybe they were pussies for not standing up to the big bad UW. Seems more like they were just being neighborly & agreeable with their biggest supplier of student drinkers. I'd like to know if any other college town bars have made similar agreements at the behest of their school.
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Postby ShaneDog » Tue Oct 11, 2005 3:24 pm

supaunknown wrote:Price fixing? I just didn't see it. Campus bars did collectively agree to avoid offering drink specials in order to appease the UW.
Although it may not be price fixing per se, that sounds like it falls under illegal collusion. In essence, the campus area bars acted as a group and agreed to not offer drink specials. I believe such actions are illegal under anti-trust laws.
From the wikipedia article on collusion:
In the study of economics, collusion takes place within an industry when rival companies cooperate for their mutual benefit. Collusion most often takes place within the market form of oligopoly, where the decision of a few firms to collude can significantly impact the market as a whole. Cartels are a special case of overt collusion, also known as tacit collusion.

According to game theory, the independence of suppliers forces prices to their minimum, increasing efficiency and decreasing the price determining ability of each individual firm. If one firm decreases its price, other firms will follow suit in order to maintain sales, and if one firm increases its price, its rivals are unlikely to follow, as their sales would only decrease. These rules are used as the basis of kinked-demand theory. If firms collude to increase prices as a cooperative, however, loss of sales is minimized as consumers lack alternative choices at lower prices. This benefits the colluding firms at the cost of efficiency to society.
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Postby ShaneDog » Tue Oct 11, 2005 3:30 pm

Oh and just so it's clear. I place the blame for this whole fiasco on the UW-Madison administrators who were asking the bars to get rid of drink specials. If there's some way, the bars should sue UW for basically forcing them into an anti-trust violation.
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Postby buckyor » Tue Oct 11, 2005 4:25 pm

ShaneDog wrote:Oh and just so it's clear. I place the blame for this whole fiasco on the UW-Madison administrators who were asking the bars to get rid of drink specials. If there's some way, the bars should sue UW for basically forcing them into an anti-trust violation.


The term is called impleader, and I would suspect that the establishments named in the suit would attempt to implead the university. Didn't they do that the first time around as well?
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Postby supaunknown » Tue Oct 11, 2005 4:28 pm

If memory serves, the bars didn't initiate the idea of banning drink specials, the UW (& the city) did. Collusion? Likely. Illegal? Doubtful. Like I said, prices still varied from bar to bar. Just no specials.

Seriously, this kind of situation cannot be unique to Madison. I wonder if any of the Ivy League schools have intimidated their local college bars into similar compromises?
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Postby ShaneDog » Tue Oct 11, 2005 4:38 pm

supaunknown wrote:If memory serves, the bars didn't initiate the idea of banning drink specials, the UW (& the city) did. Collusion? Likely. Illegal? Doubtful. Like I said, prices still varied from bar to bar. Just no specials.
Yeah, but it doesn't matter who initiated or suggested the idea. It could still be an anti-trust violation, even if some other entity asked/forced them to get rid of drink specials. Even if prices varied from bar to bar, the fact that they got together and agreed to do something that impeded competition, "get rid of drink specials" in this case, makes it a possible anti-trust violation. I'm not a lawyer so I could be way off base here. Anyone know about anti-trust law?

It seems like getting rid of drink specials could fall under "anti-competitive" practices. Also, the bars have admitted to making an agreement so the collusion part is pretty much established.
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Postby Peacetrain » Tue Oct 11, 2005 5:23 pm

jjoyce wrote:I think the biggest problem a lot of people are having with this story involve the news clips showing Marsh Shapiro and the guy who owns State St. Brats claiming hardship and talking about Madison being a horrible place to do business.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but both have become very, VERY wealthy doing business in Madison.


I believe he was referring to the city government being bad for business. Remember both these bar owners make their money because of the University not because of anything the City government has done for them.
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Postby harrissimo » Wed Oct 12, 2005 4:50 am

According to Jason Joyce's logic it's OK to be unfair to someone if they are very VERY wealthy. It's only to the poor that you have to be fair to.
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Postby charliedon'tsurf » Wed Oct 12, 2005 7:30 am

harrissimo wrote:According to Jason Joyce's logic it's OK to be unfair to someone if they are very VERY wealthy. It's only to the poor that you have to be fair to.

Like wealth doesn't dircectly translate into power in American society. If you got assloads of cash your basic rights and needs are never threatened. You can buy you way out of virtually anything or into virtually anything. How do you think we got such a fucking moron for a president? It ain't based on his own merits.
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Postby harrissimo » Wed Oct 12, 2005 10:30 am

Like wealth doesn't dircectly translate into power in American society. If you got assloads of cash your basic rights and needs are never threatened. You can buy you way out of virtually anything or into virtually anything. How do you think we got such a fucking moron for a president? It ain't based on his own merits.

Charlie... What a load of COMMIE CRAP!

My comments that sparked your juvenile response were provoked by Jason Joyce and others insulting Marsh Shapiro.

Marsh Shapiro is a friend of mine. He was the first club owner to give me a gig playing the piano back when the Nitty Gritty was a music club. My daughter who is a senior at the UW works there waiting tables.He is a hard working man who has made a lot of money because he worked hard to earn it. I don't like seeing my friends get disrespected here. Marsh has nothing to do with President Dumbass. The reason we got President Dumbass, you dumbass, is because Clinton got his weiner sucked in the Oval Office. I'm sick of all this commie crap-o-la against people who have created wealth for themselves. Get a freakin' job!
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Postby Shpiker » Wed Oct 12, 2005 10:38 am

This is the perfect forum for people to come out of the woodwork to bash people that have been successful at all in their lives. Whether they're in debt up to their eyeballs to get where they're going or if they've inherited the cash from mommy and daddy- doesn't matter. If they look like they have money or they live in the suburbs for whatever reason, they must be baaaaaad people...

They don't realize that often times it's the people who have worked hard for their opportunites in life that offer similar opportunities for others. That note seems to be all too often lost on these folks...
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Postby ShaneDog » Wed Oct 12, 2005 10:43 am

If you don't believe that having more wealth gives you more power you are not paying attention.
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Postby Smartypants » Wed Oct 12, 2005 10:48 am

harrissimo wrote:Like wealth doesn't dircectly translate into power in American society. If you got assloads of cash your basic rights and needs are never threatened. You can buy you way out of virtually anything or into virtually anything. How do you think we got such a fucking moron for a president? It ain't based on his own merits.

Charlie... What a load of COMMIE CRAP!

My comments that sparked your juvenile response were provoked by Jason Joyce and others insulting Marsh Shapiro.

Marsh Shapiro is a friend of mine. He was the first club owner to give me a gig playing the piano back when the Nitty Gritty was a music club. My daughter who is a senior at the UW works there waiting tables.He is a hard working man who has made a lot of money because he worked hard to earn it. I don't like seeing my friends get disrespected here. Marsh has nothing to do with President Dumbass. The reason we got President Dumbass, you dumbass, is because Clinton got his weiner sucked in the Oval Office. I'm sick of all this commie crap-o-la against people who have created wealth for themselves. Get a freakin' job!


jjoyce wrote:I think the biggest problem a lot of people are having with this story involve the news clips showing Marsh Shapiro and the guy who owns State St. Brats claiming hardship and talking about Madison being a horrible place to do business.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but both have become very, VERY wealthy doing business in Madison.


Commie crap-o-la? It's Commie crap-o-la to point out that someone who is very wealthy is making a hypocritcal argument?

Is it Commie crap-o-la to point out that the wealthy (whether earned or not) have no problem securing their basic needs or getting legal protection for their interests?

Or is it Commie crap-o-la because the dude is your friend?
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