7.21.2007

Housing blog: Indict Hovnanian!

HousingPanic has a good prima facie case for price fixing against homebuilder Ara Hovnanian:
Here's what Hovnanian had to say to his fellow builders - in public no less!
"Raise prices," he said. "Buyers aren't buying because they think you're going to lower prices again. There's interest but there's fear. Raise prices 3-4 percent. And quit giving discounts.''

Here's elements of Price Fixing from the DOJ:

Price fixing is an agreement among competitors to raise, fix, or otherwise maintain the price at which their goods or services are sold. It is not necessary that the competitors agree to charge exactly the same price, or that every competitor in a given industry join the conspiracy. Price fixing can take many forms, and any agreement that restricts price competition violates the law.
Ipso facto. Res ipsa loquitur. Carpe scrotum.

If you agree, contact the Justice Department at antitrust.complaints@usdoj.gov.

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