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Lao,Mariluz V.

ECO1A BA 109 8:30-9:30 PM

Case Questions

1.With reference to the case identify the oligopolistic features of the toy market and suggest how the toy market might differ if this had been a
(perfectly) competitive environment.

These models have contributed to our understanding of some aspects of the entry problem, they have, unfortunately, tended to avoid
its truly oligopolistic competition: in oligopolistic competition, all firms, potential and established, jointly and strategically control the outcome. Nti,
K. O., & Shubik, M. (1981). While the competitive environment Companies in the hotel sector of Curitiba are operating in a highly competitive
environment, and many changes have taken place in recent years, with the introduction of hotel networks in the city. The objective of this study
was to analyze the competitive environment and the winning of competitive advantages of a hotel in Curitiba, based on the Integration Approach
model proposed by Kim and Oh (2004). Besides considering internal and external aspects, by means of the Five Forces Approach and the
Resource Based Approach, this model adds the Relational Approach, which emphasizes interorganizational relations. The data were collected
through semi-structured interviews, carried out with the director of planning of a traditional hotel in the city, and after analysis of the documentary
information, a qualitative analysis of the data was carried out. It was observed that institutional clients, such as travel agencies and automobile
companies, constitute the most influential environmental force on the hotel's performance. The hotel's main resource is its location, which is
considered the main advantage in relation to its competitors. It has practically no relations with other hotels or public bodies, and the hotel in
question does not obtain any competitive advantages through the exchange of experiences. Hocayen, d. S., & Teixeira, R. M. (2007)

2.What evidence is provided in the case of collusive behaviour? More generally what are the symptoms and tests of collusive behaviour

The evidence of Mrs. Wray and Mr. Needham confirms that it was Argos’ regular practice to draw to Hasbro’s attention to instances of
Argos being undercut and to seek information from Hasbro as to the circumstances in which this was occurring. As we have already held above,
Argos was thereby seeking and apparently often obtaining confidential information about other retailers’ pricing intentions. That, in itself, would
in our view tend to maintain prices at a higher level than they might otherwise have been. Mr. Wilson was not crossexamined on his evidence
that the purpose of such calls was to procure Hasbro to persuade the retailer to raise his prices to RRPs, and in fact Hasbro would often do so.
Whether such purpose was explicit or implicit, in our view Mr. Needham must have known or could have reasonably foreseen that calls of this
kind to Hasbro would reinforce the prevailing level of prices at RRPs and reduce the risk of Argos being undercut.

In our judgment, this evidence confirms that in early 2001 there was, in Hasbro’s eyes, “an Argos/ Index agreement”. The essence of
that agreement, as it is to be inferred from the above email, was that both companies would align their prices on Hasbro’s RRPs. Mr. Snows’
concern as expressed in the email is that GUS Home Shopping was reluctant to disclose its retail prices in the way that Index and Argos had
disclosed their expected retail prices to Hasbro. That confirms that the “Argos/ Index agreement” worked through the exchange of the expected
selling prices of Argos and Littlewoods to Hasbro. The reference in the email to contacting “Andrew” (Andrew Needham) suggests that Mr. Snow
thought it would be appropriate to enlist Mr. Needham’s help in putting in place with GUS Home Shopping an arrangement similar to the one
that Argos had with Hasbro.

3. What conditions within an oligopolistic market structure make it possible for dominant firms to collude? Is collusion “cheat-proof”?
Within the past decades, the explosive combination of multimedia signal processing, communications and networking technologies
has facilitated the sharing of digital multimedia data and enabled pervasive digital media distribution over all kinds of networks. People involved
in the sharing and distribution of multimedia contents form multimedia social networks in which users share and exchange multimedia content,
as well as other resources. Users in a multimedia social network have different objectives and influence each other's decision and performance.
It is of ample importance to understand how users interact with and respond to each other and analyze the impact of human factors on
multimedia systems. This thesis illustrates various aspects of issues and problems in multimedia social networks via two case studies of human
behavior in multimedia fingerprinting and peer-to-peer live streaming.Since media security and content protection is a major issue in current
multimedia systems, this thesis first studies the user dynamics of multimedia fingerprinting social networks. We investigate the side information
which improves the traitor-tracing performance and provide the optimal strategies for both users (fingerprint detector and the colluders) in the
multimedia fingerprinting social network. Furthermore, before a collusion being successfully mounted, the colluders must be stimulated to
cooperate with each other and all colluders have to agree on the attack strategy. Therefore, not all types of collusion are possible. We reduce
the possible collusion set by analyzing the incentives and bargaining behavior among colluders. We show that the optimal strategies designed
based on human behavior can provide more information to the fingerprint detector and effectively improve the collusion resistance.The second
part of this thesis focuses on understanding modelling and analyzing user dynamics for users in various types of peer-to-peer live streaming
social networks. We stimulate user cooperation by designing the optimal, cheat-proof, and attack-resistant strategies for peer-to-peer live
streaming social networks over Internet as well as wireless networks. Also, as more and more smart-phone users subscribe to the live-
streaming service, a reasonable market price has to be set to prevent the users from reselling the live video. We start from analyzing the
equilibrium between the users who want to resell the video and the potential buyers to provide the optimal price for the content owner. Lin, W.

4.Evaluate the incentive(s) of each of the parties, Argos, Littlewoods and Hasbro towards collusive conduct.

Argos possibly profits by an expanded income stream given its scope of branches and the nonappearance of huge cost different
ssimilarity from its primary inventory equivalent; expanded income by means of direct Hasbro toy buys and through extra buys by goodness of
being in Argos to Littlewoods face a similar increase source however of littler volume given lower branch inclusion; the two gatherings profit by
a decrease in promoting use and the need to consume on extra chance following proof of opponents' lower costs on offer by means of index to
Hasbro as the producer can keep up its productivity through keeping up edges at near this isn't a comprehensive abstract understudies ought to
be urged to present specialized terms that distinguish the job of such ideas as inelasticity, vulnerability, game hypothesis.

5.Assess the welfare consequences arising from their actions.

Judgment on the penalty aspects of appeals brought by Argos Limited and Littlewoods Limited against a decision of the OFT finding
that Argos and Littlewoods had infringed the Chapter I prohibition contained in section 2 of the Competition Act 1998 by entering into
agreements and/or concerted practices which fixed prices at which certain toys and games manufactured by Hasbro would be retailed by Argos
and Littlewoods. The Tribunal had dismissed the appeals on liability in their entirety: [2004] CAT 24.The Tribunal altered the penalties payable,
in Argos' case from £17.28 million to £15 million and in Littlewoods' case from £5.37 million to 4.5 million. The judgment contains guidance on
the calculation of the penalty in infringement cases and on the nature of the Tribunal's review of the OFT's decision in this regard.

In conjunction with Hasbro(UK) Limited,the supplier,the two parties established two bilateral agreements,through the communication
of highly confidential pricing intentions ,in a verbal non binding agreement ,which fixed the price of certain Hasbro manufactured toys and
games.The CAT judgment described an agreement as existing where one party manifests it wish to achieve an anti-competitive goal,and the
other party tacitly accept that an agreement in our view can be constituted by an understanding even if there is nothing to prevent either party
from going back on,or disregarding the understanding in question .Anonymous (2009)

6.Identify the direct and indirect costs of government regulation as applied through competition policy.

Environmental protection and competitive markets are two of the highest policy priorities. In June 2006 the Competition Committee
held a roundtahle discussion on potential restrictions to competition due to environmental protection. Environmental regulations can constitute
substantial harriers to entry in some markets, can provide a basis /or predatory behaviour in some markets and can he harmful to competition
and welfare through a variety of other channels. Environmental rules can thus raise prices to consumers by reducing competition in the market.
Any assessment of the costs and benefits of an existing or proposed environmental rule is incomplete without an analysis of the costs generated
by any resulting reduction in competition. On the other hand, there is no firm empirical evidence that environmental policy affects the
competitiveness of firms and countries. Ideally, environmental policies should be effective and among equally effective policies, the policy that is
least restrictive of competition should be chosen. Environmental policy makers should ensure that environmental benefits continue to outrveigh
costs, including the indirect costs associated ivith effects on market structure. Environmental regulation and competition. (2007).

The Office of Fair Trading was taking credit yesterday for cutting the price of Monopoly by £4 following its verdict that Argos and
Littlewoods fixed the price of Hasbro toys and games.The competition watchdog announced last year that it had found the two companies guilty
of price-fixing and was fining them a total of £22.6m. The companies appealed, but yesterday the competition appeal tribunal upheld the OFT's
judgment.Hasbro was granted leniency because it provided the information that started the investigation.John Vickers, chairman of the OFT,
said: "Consumers suffered as the agreement kept prices artificially high. For example, a game of Monopoly cost £17.99 in the 2001
spring/summer catalogues of both companies. Thanks to competition law enforcement the game is now sold for £13.99 by Argos and £13.49 by
Littlewoods."Argos said it was "deeply disappointed" by the judgment.
Case Questions #2

1.What is meant by productivity?

Productivity at enterprise level is measured by calculating what has been produced or the value generated, in comparison
with the resources used for that production or output. This ratio is commonly referred to as the input output ratio; for example how many gloves
were produced per man hour or how many customers were served in a restaurant per waiter. Therefore, it becomes clear that productivity is not
merely the output. If you have increased output with more man power, productivity may even be less, although output is more. Productivity is a
measure of some output relative to some input. Therefore, improving productivity means getting more units of output for every unit of
input.Depending on the significance of the resources the focus would defer. For example, if 80 percent of your cost of production is material cost
then you would focus more on material productivity rather than labour productivity.Not working harderProductivity is not working harder or
longer. The modern understanding of productivity is getting more output with less effort and less fatigue. Many techniques are available to
reduce human effort and reduce wasted human motions and still produce more. With better layout of offices and factories, with better design of
the work station and with better tools coupled with better methods you could actually get more output per worker with less effort and less
fatigue.Productivity enhancement does not cause higher stress. In fact, a well-organised office or factory will be substantially less stressful and
more productive. Productivity does not mean squeezing out more from workers. It is achieved through facilitating better use of worker potential
by a better environment and improvement in work methods. It fact, there is a popular cliche which says, "Work smarter not harder."Not only for
factoriesProductivity is not only for factories. It is equally relevant in offices, banks, schools, military, homes and in fact anywhere where work is
done. In countries such as Singapore, the massive productivity campaign started in the public sector because Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew
believed that for the private sector to prosper, the enabling public sector has to be high in productivity. Anonymous (2013, Aug 07)

2. Analyze the impact on a fall in productivity on costs.

Economic evaluations are increasingly used to aid decision makers in allocating scarce healthcare resources. Given the direct
influence the results of economic evaluations may have on healthcare decisions, ensuring a sound methodology is critical. Many fierce debates
regarding the methodology of economic evaluations are ongoing. Importantly, these debates normally do not relate to the methodological
choices that marginally affect the final outcomes of economic evaluations. In many cases, their influence can be profound. Examples of such
debates relate to the normative foundations of economic evaluations, the perspective of economic evaluations (i.e. what costs and benefits to
include), how to discount future costs and benefits, and the nature and height of the threshold used in judging cost-effectiveness results. One
area of debate closely related to the appropriate perspective of economic evaluations is the inclusion of productivity costs and the
methodologies used to measure and value them. Productivity costs can be defined as the costs associated with paid and unpaid production loss
and replacement due to illness, disability or the deaths of productive persons. The main debates in the theory and practice of economic
evaluations of health technologies have centred on whether and how to include these costs, especially those related to paid work.
If we assume that economic evaluations are to inform a decision maker with the aim of maximizing health from a given healthcare
budget, costs falling outside of that budget (and non-health benefits) can be leftout of the evaluation. Such economic evaluations performed
from a healthcare perspective, therefore, do not include productivity costs. Influential textbooks [13, 14], however, suggest that taking a broader,
societal perspective in economic evaluations is appropriate. Such thinking furthermore seems to align with the welfare economic roots of
economic evaluations [55]. Adopting a societal perspective, all costs and effects directly or indirectly induced by the intervention are
incorporated (when significantly present) in the evaluation, regardless of where the burden (or benefit) falls [14]. This relates to the decision
maker's broader underlying objective of maximizing social welfare [3]. When adopting such a perspective, productivity costs are clearly relevant
and should be included in the evaluation. Krol, M., Brouwer, W., & Rutten, F. (2013).

3. Analyze the possible consequences for businesses in India of banning access to Facebook and other social networking sites.

Give most people access to the Internet and they will spend the next hour checking their email, their Facebook profile, their MySpace
Web page, updating their Twitter account and their LinkedIn account. And it doesn’t happen only once a day. The time spent using social
networking applications is one reason why many businesses are reluctant to allow employees to use sites like Facebook, MySpace and
LinkedIn during office hours. Add the time spent on nonworkrelated browsing, and employers have a point. At the same time, however,
businesses are starting to appreciate that social networking has its advantages, and there are many companies that have adopted social
networking as another vehicle to gain a better presence online and a wider audience. Kelleher, D. (2012).
Banning access to social networking sites may be an optimal solution for some organizations, and one can see banks and
government departments particularly keen on keeping the status quo. However, many smaller organizations may feel that taking a heavy-
handed approach could be counterproductive, indicate a lack of trust in employees (probably justified to an extent) and is too restrictive.On the
other hand, you certainly do not want to give unfettered access to social networking sites. The best option may be to allow access to social
networking sites while imposing limits (when these can be used, for how long, and by whom). Regardless of which option an organization may
choose, they must ensure that the basic safeguards are in place.What is worrying about social networking sites is that they encourage people to
give as much information about themselves as possible. Even the most prudent and well-meaning individuals can give away information they

should not – the same applies to what is put online via company-approved social networking platforms.At the same time, nearly everyone today
(even senior managers) has their own online profile on a social networking site and like the idea that they can keep in touch with contacts and
friends (and their employees) via that interface. Kelleher, D. (2012).

4. Do you think access should be denied?

As cell phones, the Internet, and social media1 continue to define personal and professional communication, federal and state laws
are redefining and, in many ways, broadening the concept of workplace privacy. For years, employers in the private sector paid little attention to
concerns over workplace privacy, as few laws prevented employers from monitoring employees and employees had greater control over their
personal communications. As technology developed, however, employers quickly obtained resources to conduct sophisticated searches of
employees' or prospective employees' backgrounds, to monitor employees in and outside the workplace, and to track and access employees'
Internet usage. Most recently, employers have begun to demand access to employees' personal communications through third-party service
providers, such as wireless cell phone providers and social networking sites. Lazar, W. S., & Schwartzreich, L. E. (2012).

Barred its employees from access to Facebook, the popular social networking site originally launched for Harvard University in
February 2004, sparking international attention from employees and employers regarding the scope of employer control over Internet access in
the workplace. The bottom line for employers, however, is the importance of producing and consistently enforcing a workplace Internet policy,
which must clearly address the following: *the amount of reasonable time employees can spend using company equipment to access non-work
related websites; *whether an employer has the right to ban a website altogether; *whether employees' Internet access privileges can be
revoked or limited at any time; and *the type of Internet access on company equipment which is strictly forbidden, such as time theft or
excessive use, pornography and employee blogs containing defamatory content about the company. Minken, R. (2007).
Nti, K. O., & Shubik, M. (1981). Duopoly with differentiated products and entry barriers: I. introduction. Southern Economic Journal
(Pre-1986), 48(1), 179. Retrieved from

Hocayen, d. S., & Teixeira, R. M. (2007). Competitive environment and competitive advantage based on an integration approach:
Case study of the hotel sector in curitiba. Turismo - Visão e Ação, 9(1), 19-36. doi:


Lin, W. (2009). Behavior modeling and forensics for multimedia social networks(Order No. 3372974). Available from ProQuest Central.
(304922704). Retrieved from

Judgment (Penalty)Related Cases

1014/1/1/03; 1015/1/1/03 Argos Limited & Littlewoods Limited v Office of Fair Trading

Anonymous(2009)Socially irresponsible,unethical or business as usual?UK case of Argos Ltd. And Littlewoods Ltd.v.OFT

Environmental regulation and competition. (2007). OECD Journal of Competition Law and Policy, 9(2), 167-173,175-239. Retrieved

Monopoly: a game of price fixing

What productivity is and what it is not. (2013, Aug 07). Daily Mirror Retrieved from

Krol, M., Brouwer, W., & Rutten, F. (2013). Productivity costs in economic evaluations: Past, present, future. PharmacoEconomics,
31(7), 537-49. Retrieved from

Kelleher, D. (2012). 5 problems with social networking in the workplace. Health Data Management (Online), Retrieved from

Lazar, W. S., & Schwartzreich, L. E. (2012). Limitations to workplace privacy: Electronic investigations and monitoring. Computer and
Internet Lawyer, 29(1), 1 -16. Retrieved from

Minken, R. (2007). Facebook controversy arises in workplaces. Canadian Employment Law Today, (484), 1-1,6. Retrieved from