The way consumers typically search for homes is on Google where companies compete for placement of real estate references against a specific address (such as the one mentioned in her article, located at 9330 Hampshire Park Dr Hampshire, Tampa, FL 33647) but what do these companies typically attribute to these web references?
The quality of this information says a lot about a specific real estate model.
Opendoor Brokerage, for example, hides recent home sale history information. This particular home was sold to Opendoor for $488,900 on November 12, 2021, now up for sale at $606,000, but the $488,900 figure is omitted from this listing (likely on purpose) so that the new buyer doesn’t see this massive price difference.
Sure. Yes. I was delighted to have John bring up the subject of gas stations, because they’re one of my favorite things to talk about in antitrust, and in particular, the case US Richfield oil from 1951, which concerns the resale price maintenance and exclusive dealing of contracts that a dominant oil refinery imposed on gas stations.
And in the ruling on that case, the judge said very explicitly, these gas station proprietors are not employees. They are independent business men, in the lingo of that era, and therefore they have the right to operate independently of these coercive contracts employed by the dominant oil refiner. That exact jurisprudence is at the heart of… Or I should say there be a repealing, the overturning of that jurisprudence is at the heart of the gig economy. And also explains why… The example that John was mentioning where you have two gas stations on opposite corners agreeing to fix prices, that’s illegal.
They decide to merge, or maybe we do catch that under our merger review process, but they just both decide to affiliate with the same oil refiner, and fixed prices that way. Almost no question. They’re not going to be targeted by existing antitrust law, and that goes very strongly in the case of the gig economy as well. You have a business model that depends almost entirely on the vertical restraints that a dominant platform imposes on supposedly independent contractors operating on their platform that are engaging in bilateral commerce with customers to which the platform’s not a party. Oh, but the platform actually sets prices for that commerce. And it does so in such a way that the drivers not employ steering methods in order to direct customers to platforms that take a lower share of what they pay by charging lower prices.
So in the… But [for a] world, Uber drivers or any drivers for any ride share platform, would be able to set lower prices on platforms that have a lower take rate, and thus enhance platform competition in the ride share market. Recently, there was an antitrust claim by a sidecar former competitor of Uber that entered the market in California, and their business strategy was basically to offer better terms to drivers.
Uber drove them out of the market using predatory pricing, using tortious interference, they submitted all sorts of fraudulent ride requests to the platform in order to prevent sidecar from servicing their customers. That succeeded, that strategy by… That monopolization strategy by Uber succeeded in gaining control of the market. The motion, or the antitrust claim by sidecar, survived the motion to dismiss, and now that case has been settled, but that speaks to the counterfactual of healthy platform competition, and the degree to which the vertical restraints that have been immunized from antitrust liability by the current antitrust regime are behind that absence of platform competition.
So, as I said, direct price fixing, I mean, John himself said, the Supreme evil basically at antitrust is price fixing well, [richer] companies do it all the time. That also pertains to non-linear bonus based pay. So these are basically incentives for the drivers to accept as many rides as possible from a given platform. And then they get a lump sum, but that reduces their labor supply elasticity, this would be the platform on any one ride that can push down, pay and force them to accept rides that are less advantageous to them.
There’s minimum acceptance rates. So all of what I’m saying is basically the sort of propaganda that you hear from gig economy labor platforms is, ‘Oh, the drivers love flexibility. So they shouldn’t be employees.’ Well, the platforms do not provide flexibility. What they provide is control in the absence of fulfilling their obligations as employers, I should also mention, I was very glad to hear Chair Khan on her opening remarks yesterday, refer to UDAP claims unfair and deceptive acts and practices as potentials, having got competitive significance.
And she referred to the gig economy where, as we’ve seen over and over again, including in the sidecar example, I previously referred to, you’ve got a deception and unfair practices used to monopolize a market. And then you just basically sit back and cash out. And so those UDAP claims essentially are components of the monopolization of the market. That’s also the case. I mean, even on going now in the gig economy, again to speak to this actual absence of flexibility and autonomy on the part of drivers.
They don’t get told the destinations of the ride before they accept them. They don’t get told the fair they’re going to be paid before they accept or reject them. The premise of the idea that the drivers are correctly classified as independent contract, is that they have the autonomy to accept or reject the rides that are offered to them on the platform. And that is just functionally, not the case in practice.
So in summary, I would say that a crucial component of closing the sort of gray area that writes a broad boundary of the firm when it comes to antitrust through the use of vertical restraints, versus a narrow drawing of firm boundaries when it comes to labor law and obligations, as well as sectoral regulation. That gray area of basically the absence of any part source of liability from all of these areas of law is what enables the gig economy to exist. And a crucial component of improving the livelihood of workers within the gig economy is to close down that gray area. And that should be an enforcement priority of the federal agencies and particular, the agencies that have experienced litigating the Sherman act to partly address of gig economy work, and its substandard aspects.
Some of the more interesting #startups are able to create new tactical formations to solve big problems against superior incumbents.
At the onset of WWII aerial combat, a V-formation was a “standard” flying principle where a leader was surrounded by two inexperienced pilots on either side. This, in theory, works to protect the leader from an attack from both sides, but in practice makes for a cumbersome balance — two inexperienced pilots flying behind one seasoned.
On the other hand, two-by-two formation allows for two experienced pilots to lead two inexperienced; it is largely superior.
“For years the formation we flew with, three-plane sections, a leader and two wingmen, irked me. If you’re going to fight and do radical turns, this was an unwieldy formation. It was obvious that if we were going to be able to do something sudden to fool an enemy, we ought to throw away one of those planes and just have a two-plane section, which is what I did. At that time, everybody was flying three-plane sections, both in our country and Europe.”
An ability for a startup to break the status quo does not necessarily mean having superior equipment, but it does require one to build innovative defensible tactics and to scale them against a problem one is looking to solve within their market.
An ability to build a superior tactical formation within any TAM and say: “You attack from any direction you want.” That’s the beauty of building #startups that can later be transformed into defensible enterprises, rather than #gigeconomy enterprises, or #crypto schemes, such as Uber and Coinbase, that seek to profit from breaking one federal law or another.
This is what one would typically include as “priceRange” for a Review, such as a Restaurant, or a Book Store:
$ = inexpensive $$ = moderate $$$ = expensive $$$$ = very expensive $$$$$ = if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it
I don’t like these references for Real Estate Companies for three reasons. (1) pricing for services is often variable (2) each service often proposes a value (or lack of) beyond simply pricing (3) some services operate by means of hidden fees and kickbacks, making the $ to $$$$$ system unreliable.
I am currently looking for feedback form the real estate sector community and consumer advocates to implement a higher level system that focuses on the type of fees, rather than the $ amounts. This is what I have been able to compile thus far:
It is a violation of federal law for individuals, or organizations to create private coin or currency systems to compete with the official coinage and currency of the United States.
Sorry, Alesia, your form, Coinbase, flat out, engages in wire fraud.
All alternative currency systems are illegal to operate in the United States, nothing will change this. Article I, Section 8, Clause 5 of the United States Constitution delegates to US Congress the power to coin money and to regulate the value thereof.
If #bitcoin tokens were merely equivalent to digital property, we wouldn’t be having a hearing about it at the United States Capitol.
#Bitcoin is a pirate currency, it cannot possibly be regulated, or become legally compliant with the US law.
False. The United States Congress has the power and means to enforce the ban on all alternative currencies.
(1) The “Power” element. Article I, Section 8, Clause 5 of the United States Constitution delegates to Congress the power to coin money and to regulate the value thereof. This power was delegated to Congress to establish and preserve a uniform standard of value and to insure a singular monetary system for all purchases and debts in the United States, public and private. Along with the power to coin money, the United States Congress has the concurrent power to restrain the circulation of money which is not issued under its authority to protect and preserve the constitutional currency for the benefit of all citizens of the nation. It is a violation of federal law for individuals, or organizations to create private coin or currency systems to compete with the official coinage and currency of the United States.
(2) The “Means” element. Cryptocurrency exchanges are an integral part of the alternative currency systems, such as #Bitcoin. Crypto exchanges registered in the United States, therefore, operate in a violation of the federal law. Crypto exchanges do have real owners, are real established corporate entities (ex. Coinbase operates under the Coinbase Global, Inc. registered in a State of Delaware) and do have rights and obligations (as Corporations or individuals) to abide by the federal law and are within the jurisdictions of all federal courts in the United States. A Criminal Summons can be served onto Coinbase entity and its founders Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at any time.
Banning the crypto exchanges worldwide is at a different level, that, at least, requires 194 member countries to empower ICPO-INTERPOL with a mandate to shut down exchanges operating within their jurisdictions.
The United States law is workable and wise, it is, certainly, not up for a debate. Any efforts to undermine the legitimate currency of the United States via the Internet are a form of domestic terrorism, wire fraud, and counterfeiting.
David McLaughlin vs HomeLight is an interesting legal action, for some reason, was incorrectly filed under the 15 U.S.C. § 1125 (Lanham Act claim for false advertising.) I randomly stumbled on this case recently, doing my research.
This case was correctly dismissed because the damages under the Lanham Act are not a substitute for damages under the Sherman Act.
These claims must be filed under a different law, however: 15 U.S.C. §1 — Trusts, etc., in restraint of trade illegal; 12 U.S.C. §2607 — Prohibition against kickbacks and unearned fees; 12 C.F.R. §1024.14 — Prohibition against kickbacks and unearned fees; Business and Professions Code §17200 et seq. 15 U.S.C. §45 — Unfair methods of competition unlawful.
No, advertisers choose this platform because it is easier for a media service to collude with Google than to build a competing advertising platform. All agreements to restrain free trade have very dull and common reasons behind them — low standards, slow growth, playing it safe, excuses, etc.
The thing that strike me, is that she, apparently, in charge of a “legal services” marketplace 🤭
I am not an attorney and have never done crowdfunding, but this post clearly violates the rules outlined by the JOBS Act and … constitutes securities fraud…
KJ Erickson’s post reads:
“5 months ago, UpCounsel launched its equity crowdfunding campaign on WeFunder. Since then, we’ve raised over $3.5M on-platform from more than 1,600 investors, making it one of the largest Reg CF campaigns in history. In that same time, we’ve grown the revenue run rate by 42% and traffic to almost 2 million users a month.
This evening, we close our campaign for good! After a career that’s involved more capital raising than I might have preferred, this crowdfund has given me a whole new passion for fundraising. It’s made me think about the future of alternative models for equity distribution, and made me a super believer in the value of having your users as your shareholders. And while I’d be the last one to ever promise that an investment is a good one, I can say with certainty that I’m incredibly excited about how many things are lining up for UpCounsel. Giving this company a new birth — from when it announced shutdown last spring to the profitable growth it’s experiencing now — has been an absolute joy. Getting to do it alongside such an incredible team including Paul Drobot Danny Page Xavier Helgesen and Sieva Kozinsky has been even better. I didn’t know I could have this much fun working on a company that I didn’t start, but I feel very lucky that I got to find out.
So for those of you that already invested — thank you. For those of you that have been thinking about an investment, you’ve got until 8pm pacific tonight. I’ll post the link to our WeFunder page in the comments. Regardless, and perhaps more importantly — please think of us when you hear about a founder or friend who needs a good lawyer. Chances are that you’ll save that person 60%+ over them turning to Big Law. This campaign was successful because of the thousands of happy clients that UpCounsel has served over the years. We’re hoping to take that number into the millions over the next decade.
Also PS — equity crowdfunding is awesome. If you’re a founder considering a crowdfund raise, I’m happy to talk and tell you everything we learned. Hit me up anytime.”
I could care less about UpCounsel or how this round runs, this post is about quality of information and leadership. Maybe have someone with better legal expertise run your legal services marketplace?
There are only two types of communications permitted on social media for companies that seek funds subject to the JOBS Act:
P.S. — KJ Erickson blatantly refused to remove her unlawful posting, prompting myself to report it to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission under a Submission Number: 16390–762–883–748 on Thursday, December 09, 2021.
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission #securitieslaw #securities #crowdfunding #legalservices
There is some dark truth to this argument, where neither consumers nor the government truly care about the fact that Uber et al. engage in hardcore “dynamic price fixing” for services of third-party gig workers. (Uber, as an entity, does not offer transportation or delivery services to anyone.)
The reason being, a hub-and-spoke conspiracy offers “apparent” pricing below what can be sustained in a competitive market. By shifting the hard costs of operations against the spokes, a network of #gigworkers, a hub platform is able to rig “low” pricing despite the uncompetitive take take.
Further, #gigplatforms utilize Internet to transmit price fixing, thereby violating federal/state #wirefraud and false statements statutes.
The damages here are off the rails, and will, eventually, be imposed in order to address the problem of collusion in e-commerce. This problem will continue to chase Uber until it is forced to file for bankruptcy and restructure the algorithm to either hire the gig workers as employees, or to allow all gig workers a full control of all price setting activities on their platform in competition with one another.