Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cheers! ... or maybe not

No sooner had Hong Kong's Consumer Council (bless them) reported that budget cuts in duty on beer had not been passed on to local drinkers, and Financial Secretary Henry Tang and LegCo members backed their complaints, than up pops a hitherto unknown trade association of seven major beer suppliers called the Hong Kong Beer Coalition (which according to Sunday's South China Morning Post accounts for about 80% of local suppliers) to announce that its members were "committed to passing duty savings to consumers," and would "issue new price lists to wholesalers and retailers on June 1, 2007, to fully reflect the direct transfer of all duty savings."

So, good news, right? Media pressure works. Cheers all round!! Except...

How come in "the world's freest economy", a self-confessed price-fixing cartel is unashamedly admitting to effectively manipulating the price of beer? This would land them in jail in many countries. Whatever happened to the virtues of competition?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what i don't get is that this association directs purveyors to drop the prices.

whatever happened to market competition?

oh, we're in Hong Kong.

nobody really competes on price.