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Customer Review

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much Is Great, Parts Are Questionable, September 6, 2005
This review is from: Competition Demystified: A Radically Simplified Approach to Business Strategy (Hardcover)
This book is wonderful on the basics of competition and market analysis - especially on the role of barriers to entry. Most of the case analyses are strong. For this discussion alone, I would recommend the book to anyone in business. Some of the prescriptive advice/analysis on cooperating with competitors is puzzling. For example, at points it seems the authors believe that collusive agreements between competitors will not reduce innovation. That is hard to swallow. Everyone knows that without a real competitive incentive, R&D costs can and will be deferred in favor of other expenditures. Why improve the cow today, if you can milk the one you have and use the money to buy a beer? The case history on gas additives is silly. The authors admit that the FTC successfully challenged these people at least twice for illegal conduct. Why would their deals be cited as a model for anything that a law-abiding businessperson might consider doing "strategically"? It is not clear that the authors have a firm grasp of the antitrust laws (which can prohibit even "tacit" collusion) or the costs of an antitrust claim - they favor an approach to "competition" (wacking up markets) that runs very close to the line. Antitrust disclaimers are thrown in from time-to-time, but the legal limits of the suggested types of collusion are never adequately explored. Read this well-written book, but use it with caution (and a lawyer).
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