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Re: IA

>  ...He also has a dealer/dist network that
>  can't get a better deal than that, and in 
>  the long term scheme of things, I'm not 
>  sure I wouldn't have done what he did to 
>  protect his long term survival..... 
>.....  He made a business decision......

BINGO!!!  Several years ago, I consulted to a company that had several
distribution channels for its products.  This included dealers and customer
direct.  D*mned if you couldn't get a better deal from their dealers than you
could from them.  No, we're not talking about the higher cost of many small
transactions--this company dearly wanted to know who their retail level
customers were (and how they behaved and what tickled their fancy, so as to
better develop new products)--they paid quite a bit to learn this stuff from
warranty registration cards.  They knew they could not quickly replace the
dealer channels (and their sales volume and market share) if they discounted
to the direct customer.  (and as the argument continues, if they lose sales,
market share, etc, they won't be around later to provide new/improved/better
products or even service the products they already put out there)  Yes, a
business decision, rational human behaviour, many of us would prob'ly do the

2 more cents.