Price fixing is un-American. Today, Uber became a publicly traded company and I had an interesting discussion with my wife — what is the value that Uber offers?
She claims that Uber brings an affordable and a reliable form of transportation to people. Drivers, she says, have agreed to the algorithmically determined prices by the platform and can stop using Uber any time.
I ask myself, at what price? If I was to originate a ride-hailing service #UberOpenly that allows drivers to set their own rates, will my proposition be able to compete with Uber? Would Uber always be able to undercut my platform by setting their driver’s rates lower? Is there an antitrust exception to price fixing set by a network? Can a competitive marketplace take on price-fixing scheme without the help from Federal Trade Commission?
This debate is not really about Uber, it is much bigger than that — helping consumers manage $31 Trillion in real estate assets. This debate is about the fact that all service rates are always negotiable and must be negotiated competitively, instead of being price-fixed by networks.
Our debate ended at a stale-mate, but will U.S. Department of Justice see it that way? What makes it an open network?
#OpenMarketplace #OpenSystems #WifeIsAlwaysRight