Crime in Berkeley

Josh Wright —  18 May 2011

“Sure, but they don’t have to carry exactly the same products. It’s not that there was no competition before — we carried some of the same items — but we had matching pricing.”  That’s Shirley Ng, owner of the Country Cheese Coffee Market at 1578 Hopkins Street in Berkeley, CA.  (HT: Marginal Revolution)  The story is about how “friendly spirit of the neighborhood is at stake,” because the owners of the nearby Monterey Market “have begun to deliberately stock items that they specialize in — including certain cheeses, wine and flowers — and they are selling them at predatory prices, which threatens the local merchants’ livelihoods.”

The article ends referencing a meeting between Monterey Market and the group of unhappy specialty merchants:

Meyer said that recently the group had been approached by a representative of Monterey Market to set up a meeting. “That discussion will determine where we go from here,” he said.

Asked what he expected from the Market, Meyer said: “They should talk to their fellow merchants about how they could all flourish.”

No such flourishing for consumers in Berkeley.  Also, I’d probably skip the meeting if I were a merchant in the area.

Good comments in the thread at the original story.

4 responses to Crime in Berkeley


    In the spirit of the day–horse racing, not apocalypse–are the horse tracks planning their own cartel meeting?
    “At some point, I think everyone will need to sit down and say, ‘Okay – we need to coordinate stakes schedules,'” [Tom Lamarra] says. “We may even need to coordinate racing dates.”

    That What Is Not 18 May 2011 at 9:50 am

    Just goes to show you that one man’s cartel is another man’s commune. Turn on, tune in, divide the market. Dig it, man.


    I’ve frequently said in the past — observing the global proliferation of antitrust law, resulting in creation of enforcement agencies in over a hundred jurisdictions around the world, including the EU Member States, the Isle of Jersey, and thence even to subordinate jurisdictions like the Autonomous Regions of Spain — “what is to prevent the Berkeley City Council from enacting its own antitrust law?” Seize the day, Berkeley!


    People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.