The Market Institute Senior Fellow Norm Singleton has a new article in Real Clear Markets with a playful, holiday themed take on the Federal Trade Commission and antitrust laws.
“The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) North Pole branch today issued the following statement from Chair Lina Khan regarding the FTC’s lawsuit against Kringle Toys, LLC for violation of antitrust laws:
For years, children around the world have had only one option for guaranteed December 24th delivery of the toys they most wanted for Christmas: Kringle Toys. Given the huge demand of children for toys at Christmas, it does not make sense that there would be only one supplier unless Kringle Toys, under the leadership of Kringle CEO Kristopher Kringle. a.k.a. Santa Claus, was using illegal tactics to remain the sole supplier of guaranteed Christmas Eve delivery.
Kringle’s ability to legally maintain this status is especially questionable considering the unreliable delivery system which consists of a 19th Century-era sled and flying reindeer. Everyone remembers the foggy Christmas Eve when, if not for the willingness of a shiny-nosed reindeer to forgive the other reindeer for not letting him play reindeer games, that millions of children would have been deprived of Christmas toys.
Kringle’s relationship regarding said reindeer was a blatant violation of federal civil rights laws prohibiting discrimination against those whose noses are so shiny that, according to multiple eyewitness accounts, they “would even say it glows.” And, of course, Mr. Kringle regularly acts in a discriminatory manner by refusing to deliver toys to allegedly “bad” children.
Kringle Toys’ monopoly must be the result of some collusion or other illegal tactics. It cannot be that Kringle Toys has unique abilities to meet demand for new toys on Christmas morning that no other existing or potential competitors can match or exceed.
Kringle’s, or Claus’s, public image as a Jolly Old man whose main interest in delivering toys is to make children “happy” and the world a “better place” is clearly a facade. If he were really interested in making the world better, he would stop trying to set an example of kindness and charity and instead join me and my fellow bureaucrats in adopting ESG and other guidelines that force people to behave in the ways we think will make them happy.
The FTC will be looking into possible collusion between the Kringle Company and Peter Cottontail, Inc. It seems odd that, even though many children would enjoy chocolates, jellybeans and even hidden eggs on Christmas, Peter Cottontail, a.k.a. the Easter Bunny, does not work on Christmas. Have Mr. Kringle and Mr. Rabbit made a deal to refrain from competing against each other in order to maintain their respective monopolies on Christmas and Easter?
Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Amy Klobuchar offered praise for the FTC actions.
“I applaud Chair Khan and her FTC colleagues for taking action against Kris Kringle’s blatant disregard for antitrust and other federal laws. Kringle’s operation also shows need for my ‘American Innovation and Online Choice Act (S. 2992)’. Any child who sends an email to Santa through the Kringle website is likely to see toys made in Santa’s workshop before they see toys made by other companies. This type of preferencing, where a company manipulated search results on its site is nothing more than an attempt by Kringle Toys to use its monopoly over Christmas Eve delivery to gain customers for Santa’s workshop. It is almost as if the owners of these platforms think they have an inalienable right to do with their property what they want without first getting permission from government officials like Chair Khan and myself! Passage of S. 2992 will end this type of preferencing, show this online business just who is in charge, and help FTC Chair Khan and her allies fulfill the dream of progressive icon the Burgermeister Meisterburger by depriving children of joy, not just on Christmas but year-round.”