European Commission Accuses 13 Optical Drive Suppliers And Two Major OEMs Of Price Fixing

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ultrapain

I think at this point it's abundantly clear that there are several handshake deals that occur behind closed doors, so hats off to the EC for going after these clowns. To ApathyCurve, it's less about the monetary value and more of the principle. Also, you're only considering this on a single unit transaction, and not on a global scale. Think of the number of optical drives the Dells and HPs of the world move in a given year. The number is astounding. Why these companies can't just move forward and act on the basis of a free world economy and pure capitalism is simply beyond me. It doesn't take genius to see the benefits of competition.

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ApathyCurve

I can buy an opdrive from Newegg for less than the price of my lunch. This is like accusing someone of price fixing on packs of chewing gum. I mean... who cares? It's beneath the threshold of any meaningful significance.

But I guess when your eurozone funny-money standard is sinking like a commie-red painted anchor, you'll grasp at any straw, no matter how flimsy and waterlogged.

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t.y.wan

I am happy they actually does something, it's rare when people have the power to do some good that actually do, do some good.
However, I really hope it's not an elaboration of an illusion of yet another illusion of choice.

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Happy

George Carlin had it right. If you don't know what I'm talking about then go to youtube and watch the videos where he talks about this kind of stuff. Among other insightful things, he said we have the "illusion of choice".

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aarcane

I think they're just looking out for the consumer's rights. Something I wish more american governments did.

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someuid

+1.

Businesses manipultaing free markets is a huge problem. I'm glad someone is noticing and doing something about it.

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routine

Impossible.

Businesses cannot force you to buy something.

Only governments can do that.

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Dxcv

Only authoritarian governments can force you to buy things. The U.S. government cannot. You always have a choice. For example, you can either buy car insurance, or choose not to drive. Similarly, you can either buy health insurance or choose to pay the tax. Both give you a choice. They are only in place to make sure that you are being responsible with regard to other drivers and patients.

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MaximumMike

The choices you outline aren't very good ones. And you say those are my only choices because Big Brother has everyone's best interest in mind. How comforting. But by the same token, you don't think this is an authoritarian government. You seem very confused.

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Dxcv

By definition, it is a representative democracy. We elect officials to represent our interests. If you feel it is authoritarian, maybe you should have elected someone that represents your issues better. If your candidate didn't win, then maybe you should have helped spread the word. If you didn't vote, then you have no reason to complain.

As for your choices, if you drive you must carry car insurance. I believe the minimum is at least liability insurance, so that if you are in an accident and it is your fault you can pay for the damage done to the other person's car and body. I'm sure that if you were injured in an accident by someone else's mistake you would want your bills paid for. The same is true for health insurance. People feel they are healthy enough to not need insurance, then they get sick and use the ER to get treated. Then they get the bill and can't pay for the treatment, which causes the hospital to raise costs on other people to compensate. The tax is to offset those costs so that they can be treated without raising costs on the rest of us.

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MaximumMike

Do you live in the same world as me, or do you just read about it in a text book? Just because our country was founded as a representative republic, not "democracy", doesn't mean that is what we have today. If you believe the facade, try getting your nose out of a book and actually paying attention to the world you live in. You bring up authoritarian governments and speak in text book terminology, but you have failed to realize that you live in a country that fits the text book definition of authoritarian government. It may not be overtly oppressive yet, but we don't really have any security in the notion that it isn't coming.

Do I vote? Sure I do. Is that any of your business? Hardly. But really, what is there to vote for. Our current President is the perfect example of that. Bush turned out to be a disappointment to his base and pretty much every one else. Democrats were chomping at the bit for a change, and many Republicans were on board. Obama ran his entire campaign on "I'm not Bush." In fact, it was so bad I remember when in one of the debates McCain actually stopped Obama and said something to the effect that, "Bush isn't your opponent. I am."

So,what has he done since winning that contest, but continue and expand the same policies that his base spent years deriding Bush for? He couldn't have been more like Bush if he had been his twin brother. And now as best as I can tell most people are sick of him. But what do they think will change with Mitt Romney? Very little. The only difference between Republicans and Democrats is what they say. But in what they do, there's not much difference worth talking about.

A small group of people give you two choices, and no matter which one you pick the same things happen. A small group of people continue to erode your freedom of choice, all in the name of protecting you and making everything fair. The police state is ever expanding and we're locking up more and more people every day, but yet we're somehow no safer from psychos like the bat man shooter.

Furthermore, I don't need you to explain the purpose of insurance to me, or the existing laws regarding it. I work in the insurance industry, so I think I've got a handle on that. You conclude that insurance has solved the problems of liability and justice, but yet claims are denied every day. Injured people are still left feeling slighted, or maybe even royally screwed. Except now its worse because insurance companies can make demands on what kind of medical treatment or procedure you can receive and for how long. They can tell you which doctors you can and cannot use. They can sometimes require you to do things you aren't comfortable with or even feel are dangerous.

And all of this comes at the cost of purportedly making things cheaper. But yet medical costs continue to rise and insurance companies continue to cover less, dumping a higher percentage of that ever rising cost back onto the claimant. I'm hardly convinced that the price fixing scheme which is insurance makes medical treatment any better or more affordable. In fact, the fact that insurance companies regularly make a profit proves mathematically that medical costs as a whole cannot be cheaper.

But however you feel about insurance it ought to be voluntary. Insurance is a risk. When I buy insurance, I am betting that my costs will exceed my premiums and I will save money. The insurance companies are betting that I won't need as much medical attention and that they will make money. For insurance companies, it is a high risk market with an enormous reward. It's the same in the casino world, but no one compels you to go to the casino. Existing legislation does away with the risk, while keeping the reward. It ensures that insurance companies will win, which means that someone must lose. But there have been more than a few in the casino industry who found themselves staring through iron bars because they found it economical to fix things so that they could always win. But the Supreme Court suddenly throws the Constitution right out the window and says it is quite alright for the federal government to do the same thing.

The bottom line is that I am required at gun point to give them money. The government tries to sidestep the issue by calling this a tax, but it isn't a tax. It's extortion. And small minded people like yourself try to justify it by saying you've got my best interests at heart. Well, I know better what my best interests are than you and I don't need Big Brother to protect me from myself. I'm quite alright with being accountable for my own life. Now, if I could just get people like you to be accountable for theirs.

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Dxcv

Quite frankly I don't want to get into a debate about your perception versus mine. I pay attention to what happens with our government and I know how it works. I also know that Congress has been the primary point of failure in recent years. Very little legislation has been passed in the last two years because of partisan politics. I also know that much of the police state powers were legislated by congress and not usurped by the president. In fact, much of Obama’s agenda has not been considered by Congress.

I’m sorry if you thought I was invading your privacy regarding the voting. I was only ways in which the system can be changed within.

As for the rest, I defend the new system and the tax for two reasons. First, I think the current system is stupid and I would love to see insurance done away with and healthcare provided to everyone that needs it. However, because that would never have passed Congress, I think that the new system is the best of a bad situation. Second, the tax really doesn’t matter much, because people can always opt not to pay it. It is levied as an income tax and the IRS will never know if people pay it, unless they are audited. Also, if enough people refuse to pay it, it will change.

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MaximumMike

>>I also know that Congress has been the primary point of failure in recent years.

I agree to a point. But I would go further, in that all three branches have been a big failure in recent years. And I don't think this is by accident? I find it a stretch of the imagination that a government as sophisticated as ours can fail so monumentally and entirely unintentionally.

>> Very little legislation has been passed in the last two years because of partisan politics.

Agreed. But with phone-book sized bills, I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

>> I also know that much of the police state powers were legislated by congress and not usurped by the president.

Agreed. But lets not pretend that over the last 12 years the POTUSA hasn't done his fair share.

>>In fact, much of Obama’s agenda has not been considered by Congress.

Thank God.

>>I was only ways in which the system can be changed within.

I agree with you about changing the system through voting. Although, after paying close attention to the Republican Primaries I am quite convinced that we will never be allowed a worthwhile candidate on either side of the aisle, and also that third parties have very little chance of getting into office.

>>First, I think the current system is stupid and I would love to see insurance done away with and healthcare provided to everyone that needs it.

So why not advocate that instead of a system you don't really believe in?

>>However, because that would never have passed Congress, I think that the new system is the best of a bad situation.

Good bills don't pass because the American people as a whole have bought into this "us vs them" mentality. Nobody really believes the Democrats or the Republicans are doing what's right. So, like you, they vote for the lesser of two evils. But evil is still evil and bad is still bad. So, why not vote for candidates you actually believe in who will write and pass bills you actually believe in? Why? Because, as everyone knows, those candidates don't stand a chance of being elected. And believe me the Democrats and Republicans are happy to keep it that way. Hence the authoritarian society we have now.

>>Second, the tax really doesn’t matter much, because people can always opt not to pay it. It is levied as an income tax and the IRS will never know if people pay it, unless they are audited.

Did you really just say that you think its ok for the government to wrongfully tax me because I can just refuse to pay and my chances of getting caught and going to jail are slim? One, that would require me to violate my moral conscience. Two, if it's really worth the risk are you willing to go to jail in my stead?

>>Also, if enough people refuse to pay it, it will change.

Fat chance. I don't know which IRS you're talking about, but the only one I know of has no qualms about putting people in jail over tax debt. I've read several scenarios where men decided to do their taxes the same way large corporations do. These men consulted accountants on the proper way to set it up and even wrote the IRS informing them of their intent to file their taxes in this way. Other men did as you suggested and refused to pay tax debt they felt was unjustified, some even using actual IRS tax code to justify their position. Were these men successful in changing the IRS's policies, as you would have me believe? No. They were hit with enormous amounts of tax debt, having their entire net worth erased or finding themselves in jail. You might want to get good with vacuum cleaners before you try selling that one again.

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