Monday, August 06, 2007

Ah, but the Antitrust Act

“Me, as a businessman, I think this corporation has no respect, no class,” Mr. Coluccio said. “I’m not scared Papa John will have better pizza. It’s just the way they’re doing it. It’s like they came to your house and kicked you right out.”

. . .

Some of Johnny’s competitors who signed the anti-Papa John’s petition are not taking the news any better. For years they worked in friendly rivalry, helping each other through tight spots.

“If we get short on cheese or tomatoes, we go to him or he comes to us,” said Gino Campese, the owner of Scotti’s Pizza. “When it’s time to raise prices, we get together. There’s room for everybody. But not for Papa John’s.”

Now, I am a sworn enemy of Papa John's, may their business be replaced by one that serves decent pizza. However, I found the sentiments in this article a little . . . off. The basic gist is that a Papa John's is opening up to a neighborhood pizza shop in Brooklyn. The owner feels as if he's being kicked out of his house.

Now, if someone opens up next to you, and takes your customers, what that says to me is that you weren't really doing so hot of a job in the first place. So it's not really like getting kickec out of your house. I mean, if your business model is predicated on keeping customers from having any other choices, you have serious problems on your hands anyway.

The second interesting part was the second quote - where the local pizzeria owners get together to set prices. To my untrained eye, it seems like price fixing to me, and it seems like they're saying that they'll get together to fix prices to keep Papa John's out. Kind of classic anti-competitive, oligopolistic behavior to me. Don't know how I feel about that as a natural buyer of pizza. Alas.

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