Monday, March 19, 2007

First We have Lawyers, Then Marketing Professors, now It's the Actress' Turn

As things are developing, it seems inevitable that HK would have a competition "law" very soon. Read more here.

Several types of professionals have already voiced their support for such a "law", first we have lawyers (Ronny Tong of the Civic Party for example) and then we have marketing professors (see here), now we have an actress who says independent firm companies would be wiped out without such "law".

SCMP reported today:

"Josephine Siao Fong-fong, the former child star who went on to become one of Hong Kong's most prominent actors, said the ownership of cinemas by the local film industry made life difficult for small-scale filmmakers..."

"In Hong Kong, the market is controlled by big companies who distribute their own films to their own cinemas," she said. "Prime-time bookings - summer holidays, Christmas and the [Lunar] New Year [periods] - are all held for their own films. Independent filmmakers are crowded out and [are] unlikely to survive."

"Time and money are saved [but] quality is lost. Without anti-trust laws a local film industry is unlikely to flourish in Hong Kong," she said."

Read more here.


How did the current big companies become big in the first place? Were they all "small" to start with? If so, then these current big players might very well encounter the same problems that Josephine said the existing small firms have to face. Did all these former small potatoes (now major studios) grow big thanks to the antitrust law?

What is wrong with trading off a bit of quality (assuming Josephine were right that indeed quality is being sacrificed for the sake of saving money and time) in order to save money and time? Obviously, she does not understand that economics does not address problems of the all-or-nothing kind, but choice at the margin.

If indeed independent producers could produce such "quality" products, who is to prevent them from getting the financial support needed for them to build their own cinemas? I am sure a lot of investors would be interested in grapping the market from the existing major players if such opportunities were indeed presence.

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