Single Firm Hearings Comment: Susan Anielski
The issue of distinguishing aggressive competition vs Conduct to Attain/Maintain a Monopoly can possibly best be answered by deciding the following: A large organization forms alliance partnerships with other large organizations and also has key members appointed to boards of smaller orgs beneficial to their industry. This Alliance positions itself within governmmental agencies as the authority in varied advisory roles. It now participates in rule making and implementation. It creates other orgs to perform necessary functions for their financial growth and benefit. It creates rules, certification requirements and fees. It dominates the media by ownership. It has great resources and influence. There is no possibility of competition. No level playing field. The alliance partnerships have effectively overwhelmed a consumer driven market. A position to control price, services, resources and define the market. The organization releases information in a propaganda style and avoids revealing it's identity, actions and intent to the public. It strategically involves consumers in its business ventures without disclosure. It manipulates the system due to its size of financial resources and influential members. It's goal is to benefit one segment of the industry. The perceived good it displays is accomplished by a large percentage of volunteer labor whiile providing paid positions for key members. A favorable public image to use as leverage in overcomeing governmental regulation. The consumer is decieved. The organization extends its control of resources, programs and funds. It is now without rival. It has power and control. It's goal of convening authority accomplished. It has effectively positioned itself within many smaller areas and unseen boards. To see the market control the cartel it has created, is to find all the pieces of the puzzle and look at them as a whole. They have fraudulently gained funding and are courted by those wanting to position themselves as alliances. They do exist. They are extending their reach. They have not been detected. They are the only industry organization included in USDA FAS programs. Several State University Research Departments rely on their funding. They have regulatory positions within boards which assess fees on consumer goods. The fees are collected into funds in which they control. They offer consumers industry related purchasing programs which secretly fund their PAC board. They offer liability insurance with unidentifiable entities. They offer membership to consumers in clubs in which they control and benefit from. They are taking advantage of consumers by their hidden identity. Due to their PR practices government authority discounts their impact yet the industry touts it's economic impact. They have identified themselves and their actions with intentionally vague language. They have used smoke and mirror tactics to confuse consumers relative to industry issues relative to funds. They have publiclly claimed ownership of public officials who officially perform on their behalf. The consumer market is defined in the millions of dollars. The industry market is defiined in the billions. They are not who they claim to be. The questions- Who do they say they are? Who are they in reality - define the motivation behind their actions. Are there strategic alliance partners? Do they solicit volunteer labor? What is the strategy? Do they have influence with government? Is their voice the only one? Who are the key participants? How far is their reach within the market? Is their language vague so therefore appealing to the public? Will they answer specific questions or avoid questions? What do they offer to consumers of value of their own creation or borrowed? Do they have secrets? How powerful is their presence over sources for consumer choice? What are all the areas they influence? How effective, available and receptive is governmental authority to consumers? Available in person or limited access?