Source: Federal Trade Commission
quote: As I've pointed out before, middlemen can lower costs. If the distribution and marketing process for all the automakers is similar enough, substantial money can be saved by having a middleman consolidate those tasks. Rather than have 3 automakers run 3 of the same marketing surveys (one each), the single middleman can run a single survey.
quote: Or rather than each automaker having to set up a trucking system to distribe cars to each major metro area, a single middleman could handle transportation for all the automakers.
quote: Any time a task can be consolidated, that's an opportunity for a middleman to save the end customer money. Otherwise, you can carry the "middlemen are bad" belief to ridiculous extremes. Why should automakers advertise in newspapers and on TV? That's a middleman! They should each set up their own newspapers and TV stations to run their car ads. Why should you shop at a supermaket? That's a middleman! You should be buying each of your groceries directly from individual farmers.
quote: Whether a middleman would increase or decrease costs in this particular case isn't for the government or us on a web forum to decide. Just allow both, and the market will sort out which saves the consumer money and/or delivers better service.