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FTC states that dealerships are scared of competition

It looks as though Elon Musk and the auto company he helms, Tesla Motors, just gained a few new friends. In a new blog post, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) came out with guns blasting against states that have rallied around automobile dealers in an effort to prevent Tesla from directly selling vehicles to consumers.
The blog was written by Andy Gavil, the FTC director for Office of Policy Planning, Debbie Feinstein, director of the Bureau of Competition, and Marty Gaynor, director of the Bureau of Economics.
The blog post pointed out that times are changing and it’s no longer the 1900s. The officials point to the fact that just as consumers used to buy directly from local stores only to then move to mail-in order catalogs and now internet shopping, that businesses must adapt to survive.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and President Barack Obama
“For decades, local laws in many states have required consumers to purchase their cars solely from local, independent auto dealers,” noted the FTC officials. “Removing these regulatory impediments may be essential to allow consumers access to new ways of shopping that have become available in many other industries.”
“In this case and others, many state and local regulators have eliminated the direct purchasing option for consumers, by taking steps to protect existing middlemen from new competition. We believe this is bad policy for a number of reasons.”
The officials also pointed out that Tesla poses no serious threat to auto dealers seeing as how it only managed to sell 22,000 cars compared to the 15 million total sold in the U.S. in 2013.

Tesla Model S
More poignantly, the FTC officials asserted, “These protections expanded until in many states they included outright bans on the sale of new cars by anyone other than a dealer—specifically, an auto manufacturer. Instead of ‘protecting,’ these state laws became ‘protectionist,’ perpetuating one way of selling cars—the independent car dealer.”
In the end, the FTC officials warned that dealers (and their lobbyists) should welcome competition in the auto sales space, and should not keep barriers to competition as the status quo, stating, “Our point has not been that new methods of sale are necessarily superior to the traditional methods—just that the determination should be made through the competitive process.”
“We hope lawmakers will recognize efforts by auto dealers and others to bar new sources of competition for what they are—expressions of a lack of confidence in the competitive process that can only make consumers worse off.”

Updated 4/25/2014 @ 3:34pm
The National Dealers Association (NADA) has responded to the FTC officials with the following statement:

“For consumers buying a new car today, the fierce competition between local dealers in a given market drives down prices both in and across brands – while if a factory owned all of its stores it could set prices and buyers would lose virtually all bargaining power,” said Jonathan Collegio, NADA vice president of public affairs. “And buying a car isn’t like buying a pair of shoes online. Cars require licensing to operate, insurance and financing to take home, and contain hazardous materials, so states are fully within their rights to protect consumers by standardizing the way cars are sold.”

Source: FTC

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RE: Good!
By Flunk on 4/25/2014 8:56:59 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, but in comparison to President Obama, the only other person in the photo, Mr Musk is very pale.

RE: Good!
By Solandri on 4/25/2014 9:27:34 AM , Rating: 5
It's a common problem when shooting pictures of black people together with white people. Cameras don't have as much dynamic range of your eye, so those pictures will usually turn out with the black person's face being too dark, or the white person's face being too light.

The same problem exists when shooting wedding photos (bride in white, groom in black), or portraits of Asians (usually the black hair turns into a featureless inkblot). Back in the film days there were a wide variety of low-contrast films designed specifically for high dynamic range to counter this problem. In digital, the best way to counter this is with HDR. But if the pic wasn't shot in HDR, the best you can do with a quick edit is to tweak the levels curve. (The correct solution would be dodging and burning, but that potentially violates the standards set by most news organizations for photojournalists.)

RE: Good!
By Reclaimer77 on 4/25/2014 10:13:59 AM , Rating: 2
Musk looks pale because he IS pale...

RE: Good!
By Lord 666 on 4/25/2014 1:31:29 PM , Rating: 5
Musk looks like he is asking Obama out on a date.

RE: Good!
By Samus on 4/26/2014 3:10:42 AM , Rating: 3
Well, he probably is axing him for a favor.

RE: Good!
By GotThumbs on 4/28/2014 9:15:09 AM , Rating: 2
Musk knows how to stroke Obama's ego. "You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar."

At the end of the day, Musk is the REAL mover and shaker IMO.

How many other companies have paid off their federal loans as fast as Tesla did?

RE: Good!
By GotThumbs on 4/28/2014 9:07:58 AM , Rating: 2
Musk spends less time on the Golf course and more time in his office/businesses. Thats how Musk built his businesses and is so successful today.

RE: Good!
By EricMartello on 4/30/2014 6:30:10 PM , Rating: 2
Are you one of those 'know it alls' that likes to read himself write? HDR for press photos? No, and please, get a clue before you start spouting off nonsense.

The DSLR cameras that journalists would be using, like the Canon 1DX or Nikon D4, have more than enough dynamic range to correctly capture colors in a relatively neutral scene such as the one in this article. Musk is pale, probably because he spends a lot of time indoors.

"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki

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