Archive for the 'competition' Category

The Story of a Chain Resturant

There is a big chain restaurant company who named itself Eatool. Based in Amilina (a country allowing people eat almost everything except small chicken), Eatool provides delicious meats, including pork, beef and adult chicken. At the same time, it also sells dishware and other stuffs in each of its restaurants.
I.
Few years ago, Eatool opened a new restaurant in Cinet, a country where the king forbid selling pork, as well as chicken.
Personally, Eatool’s boss loves pork, but he knows that selling pork in their Cinet restaurant means shut down the business including the dishware. So they hired Cinet people run the restaurant in Cinet, and restricted themselves from selling pork. At the same time, Eatool sells dishware to Cinetizens.
In Amilina, many gourmets criticized Eatool for years: “Hey, pork is delicious. You should provide pork in Cinet. People in Cinet need pork!”
In the mean time, some people in Cinet also claimed: “Hey, we love pork. Why Eatool, the leader of the world restaurants, compromise to the evil regulation of forbidding pork?”
More profoundly, some thinkers either in Cinet or in Amilina said: “It’s not the matter of pork; it’s the matter of choice. No government should restrict the choice of eating. It’s a natural right to eat anything that a human being wants to!”
II.
The prince of the Cinet asked his father, “Dad, they are criticizing us not allowing pork…”
“Amilina forbid eating the small chicken. Tell me, why?” The King did not answer the question but asked his son.
“Small chicken should be protected because they are young.”
“Yes, but attention, it’s a moral reason, not a logic one. Eating small chicken is sick and lousy, so they prohibited it. They need a moral legitimacy for ruling the country. We need too. So we prohibit chicken. The different is just the level of moral standards.”
“Oh, OK, Dad. But … how do we distinguish youth chicken and adult chicken?”
Moral reasons are mostly not steady, and that uncertainty always good for us. You will know that.”
“Then we prohibit the pork for the moral reason too? “
“You are too young, sometimes naive, my son!” Said the king, “It’s not the matter of choice; it’s the matter of interests. Remember: we are good at cooking beef, not pork. If we approve the pork before prepared, you may not be the next king of Cinet, my dear son! If you want to eat pork, just go Amilina, silently. But back to Cinet, we still cannot approve it. You understood?”
“So we prohibit chicken for the moral reason, but prohibit pork for the interests?”
“Not that simple. People used to reasoning their interests with moral argument. Not only us. You will see it. Anyway, pay attention to the guys who bought Eatool’s dishware specific for cooking the pork.”
The next day, Eatool was criticized in Cinet. The state central TV station blames Eatool providing the chicken, and saying chicken endangered the youth’s health. Under the heavy pressure, Eatool revised its menu, deleted all dishes made by chicken.  
III.
A month later, Eatool suddenly sticked a notice at its shop window:
“we decide to sell the pork in Cinet now! We will discuss this with the king of Cinet. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Eatool at Cinet. But we have decided to do that.”
This is a big news. Journalists throng to the office of Eatool’s headquarter.
– “Why do you sell the pork now?”
“Because someone tried to break our dishware!” The CEO of Eatool said with angry.
– “who?”
“Someone, not sure. They tried to break our dishware! Not only our products, but also many other Amilinan companies’. The attackers are organized!”
– “Government based?”
“Not sure, but the attacks are aiming at the dishware that we made for the clients who argue for the freedom of eating, either in Amilina or in Cinet!”
“Em … what’s the relationship between dishware and pork?”
“Well, they attack the dishware, its violation of human right! We have principle.”
“Sir, I mean, why didn’t you provide pork before, but now change the mind? Can the pork protect the dishware from attacking?”
“Uh … I guess so … attackers may be busy in ~~ eating pork … em … yes, human rights! They are both the matter of human rights, the matter of freedom of Choice.”
– “When you are saying the dishware, what freedom of choice is about to?”
“Uh… uh…, security! The security of dishware! Without security of dishware, how can we eat pork, beef and even chicken? So as I said, the dishware is highly relevant to the pork. We decide to sell pork because they break our dishware!”
IV.
Reading Eatool’s notice, a client of Eatool’s Cinet shop cried, “Watch it! It’s the principle! The moral of a company! They decided to provide pork! I love Eatool! I will cross the wall and visit Eatool even it’s Cinet restaurant closed! I will not eat in the King’s restaurant, even beef!”
“How did you get the pork before?” Her mama asked, washing the dishware bought from Eatool.
“Cross the wall and visit Eatool’s restaurant in Amilina.”
“So … there is no difference … By the way, where did you buy and repair this dishware?”
“Eatool’s shop in Cinet of course! They don’t prohibit selling dishware! How dare the King prohibit that!”
“OK, after Eatool closes its restaurant in our country. Where can we repair this dishware?”
“Em… cross the wall. It’s all because of the King! I hate the King!”
“Fine, I am old and poor. I cannot afford such long journey for either pork or beef in Eatool’s restaurant in Amilina. Before you fight the King for the Eatool, can you tell Eatool not to change its principle next time? That’s just like the king.
“No mama, Eatool has principle; it was forced not selling pork!”
“Wash your dishware, dear. Eatool sold you it in Cinet. By the way, I suggest you marry the prince, which makes you eating the pork.”
“NO! I don’t like the prince!”
“OK, OK. Anyway, if you don’t marry the prince nor Eatool, then fight for yourself, for me, for those who cannot afford having diner in Eatool’s restaurant.

Collective Management Should Not be the Source of Monopoly Earnings

This is a Column essay in Chinese, published in 21cn Economic Post (GuangZhou). Here is a brief English abstract.

Abstract: China Audio-Video Copyright Association (CAVCA) filed a law suit against SuperStar Co. (a KaraOK service company) on the breach of contract. CAVCA is a national-wide copyright management organization to the audio-visual products in China. The contract says the CAVCA licenses the the copyrights of all the MTV works that it managed to the SuperStar. The SuperStar should pay the money to an account “designated by TianHe Inc.” Tianhe Group is a company established in 2007, and it’s only job is to manage the MTV copyright under the CAVCA’s authorization. This article recalled the aim of the collective copyright management, and questioned the legitimacy of such authorization.

The full-text and the machine translation by Microsoft Translator can be accessed at here (alert! the translation is really terrible).

Paper Abstract – By John BURKE and Hao DONG

Competition Policy and Updating Vehicles for the Delivery of Legal Services: The New South Wales Experience and Lessons for Hong Kong

John BURKE* & Hao DONG**

Accepted by SSCI Journal: Asian and Pacific Law Review

Abstract: Competition policy has been applied to the legal profession in NSW for over a decade. The introduction of a broad reaching competition law to Hong Kong is currently being considered there. This article will review two key aspects of competition policy in NSW, the introduction of incorporated legal practices (‘ILPs’) and multi-disciplinary legal practices (‘MDPs’). In particular, it will explore the degree to which these changes have altered the traditional professional model of legal practice in NSW and the benefits and costs of these effects. These lessons are relevant to legal profession in Hong Kong because proposals in a public consultation paper issued by the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau on 6 May 2008 envisage that competition policy would apply prima facie to all business models. Furthermore, existing (but dormant) legislation permitting ILPs and recommendations to allow MDPs make these changes to the landscape of legal practice a real possibility. This article will conclude that such changes should be viewed with caution in Hong Kong and perhaps other solutions sought to improve the efficiency and productivity of the legal system and access to justice in that jurisdiction.
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* Teaching Fellow, City University of Hong Kong. BA (Macquarie University), Dip. Law (SAB), LLM (UTS), Graduate Certificate in University Teaching and Learning (Charles Sturt University).
** Lecturer in Yunnan University (PRC), PhD Candidate in City University of Hong Kong. The authors would also like to thank Professor Christopher Roper and Professor Gino Dal Pont’s careful proof reading, as well as very helpful insights provided by Michael Sandor on the current law of Hong Kong, who refereed this article.