laws and regulations

Samsung Exec Gets Jail Time for Price Fixing

A former vice president of marketing for the U.S. division of Samsung will do jail time and pay a fine after a plea deal in a long-running price-fixing case in the semiconductor industry. While setting prices in a smoky backroom … Read More

Sneaky Price Increase Runs Afoul of FCC

For years, the Federal Communications Commission has levied a “Universal Service Fee” on phone lines, a small tax on everyone’s bill, every month, to subsidize rural phone lines. The FCC recently decided that these fees would not apply to high … Read More

Hacker Quadruples Car Wash Price

With motives unknown, a hacker apparently managed to change the price of a car wash at a Salt Lake City gas station from $2 to $8. The owners are offerring to reimburse the dozen or so customers who paid the … Read More

Virgin, BA Tussle as Price Fixing Probe Eyes Airline Fuel Charges

According to the Daily Mail, the current price-fixing probe into fuel surcharges on lucrative transatlantic routes started on a tip from Virgin Airlines, who alerted authorities about attempts by British Airways to bring them into a illegal pricing agreement. BA … Read More

Senator Aims to End Fractional Gas Pricing

Minnesota state Senator Dick Day has had it with gas stations charging fractions of a penny for gas. If he gets his way and abolishes fractional pricing, stations will round up to the nearest penny, perhaps costing drivers an extra … Read More

Spitzer Sets Sights on Digital Music

New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer has begun a “preliminary investigation” into whether record labels are colluding to set prices for digital music downloads. I don’t know whether this is based on any evidence, or just Spitzer seeing smoke, assuming … Read More

Teen Swaps Barcodes to Buy iPod for $4.99

According to this story in the Denver Post, a 19-year-old college freshman used barcode printing software to print barcodes for cheap products which he then swapped with the barcodes on expensive products. He was caught because he returned to the … Read More

Study Finds Pricing Errors at Wal-Mart

The LA Times notes a study that found pricing accuracy in many Wal-Mart stores below federal requirements. The study was funded by a union critical of the Arkansas giant, but researchers found more under-charging than over-charging. (Most previous studies of … Read More

Sites Compete to Scoop Black Friday Prices

The New York Times (free registration required) had an article on price comparison sites, which are growing increasingly influential. These sites receive promotional materials from employees of companies like Wal-Mart or employees of the printing companies that product the materials. … Read More

Vendor Sues Retailer Over Withholding Payments

As we noted earlier, clothing makers and retailers are tussling over payments, and now the fight is ending up in court. A clothing maker has sued Dillards over $200,000 in deductions that Dillards claims resulted from discounts (meaning that Dillards … Read More