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Saturday, April 04, 2020 

The Clinton adminstration didn't think Diamond was monopolizing comics distribution

The Conversation wrote about the history of publishing and distribution, how it's been brought to a standstill by the Coronavirus crisis, and they make an interesting note about why an investigation into Diamond's business conduct was dropped 2 decades ago:
When Heroes World proved incapable of supporting Marvel’s needs, the company folded in 1996 and Marvel joined forces with Diamond, the only other distributor still standing. That same year, the Bill Clinton government began investigating Diamond as a monopoly. But the government dismissed the case in 2000, finding that the new company was not monopolistic because comic books were only a small part of the overall publishing industry.
That was their reasoning? Because comicdom was only one cog in a circuit? Not good, because Diamond became a monopoly in one specific industry, and one could argue the Clinton administration's staff in charge of the inquiry screwed up badly by failing to recognize that all segments of publishing are vulnerable to monopolies, be it newspapers, magazines, history writers and science fiction.

However, it does hint at what Clinton and company must think of comicdom. Because, in their words, it's just a small potato in a sea of big ones, whatever goes on behind the scenes is excusable as the medium in their minds is expendable. So why do so many industrialists respect the Clintons, then? They didn't help the medium one bit by letting Diamond off the hook. And now, we're seeing how even that much could be collapsing as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak damaging business conduct.

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Part of an investigation like this is prosecutors determining whether they are likely to succeed if they bring the case to court. They determined that they would not under the law relating to monopolies. It was not necessarily a policy choice.

Okay, you’re likely to delete this because it may challenge your...ahem.. “world view”, but having worked comic retail in the late 90s and early aughts, I can tell you that Diamond really tried hard to undercut charges of being a monopoly. While investigated, they allowed other distributors to sell DC and Dark Horse merch (trades, t shirts), only to withdrawal policies once they were cleared, it had little to do with the Clinton administration other than investigations literally being held under their regimen (I understand, this looks like like legalese logic, but a controlling body is not always cognoscente of the actions of its tendrels).
Blaming everything on bogeymen may feel like the right thing to do, but come on, Ari... you can do better!

"ou’re likely to delete this because it may challenge your...ahem.. “world view”, but having worked comic retail in the late 90s and early aughts, I can tell you that Diamond really tried hard to undercut charges of being a monopoly. "


totally a unbiased source. We've already suspected that you are an industry insider paid to post astroturf.
I would recommend that you stick to posting astroturf on platforms liberals dominate instead of coming onto an independent blog and complaining that you political rants aren't preserved in amber for future generations.

Regardless of your bullshit, everyone who isn't an industry insider sees Diamond as a monopoly.

Recently, someone noted that removing Diamond might do more harm than good since the Direct Market is too small to support multiple distributors and I'm inclined to believe that.

If sounds like you both agree that Diamond is a monopoly. Unknown said that Diamond stopped non monopolistic policies as soon as they stopped being investigated by the regulatory state.

It helps sometimes to read past the first sentence of the comment before you start denouncing it as a conspiracy.

Personally, I think that half the short lived Comicsgate movement was industry insiders trying to stir up controversy in order get publicity for their books and boost their circulation.

“ We've already suspected that you are an industry insider paid to post astroturf. ”
I assume the “we’ve” in question is the famed “Four Color Media Monitor Think Tank” known for its heated deliberations on the origins of commenters.

As noted, I was agreeing that Diamond is a monopoly. And I also agree a variety of wholesale venders would make a retailer’s life easier, as it never hurts to have options. My issue was connecting Diamond’s exclusivity contracts to the Clinton administration.

“Regardless of your bullshit, everyone who isn't an industry insider sees Diamond as a monopoly.”
So, the people in the industry are the people who don’t think Diamond is monopoly... isn’t that basically saying the people who don’t think Diamond is a monopoly are people who are informed?

You can find an interesting and readable discussion of Diamond's monopolistic practices, and the legal arguments that could be used in prosecuting them, at:

https://www.memphis.edu/law/documents/07_donahoe_no_banner.pdf

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  • I'm Avi Green
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