Wednesday, December 19, 2007

$8,000-per-gallon printer ink leads to antitrust lawsuit

I refuse to buy ink from any retail store.  When I run out, I usually pick up another printer and give away the one I have.  Since I go through ink about once a year, the cost benefits are there, and I get new (albeit cheap) technology. 

Recently I picked up a 6-month supply of ink (or in my case a lifetime supply, if it didn't expire in 6 months).    This was shipped to me in a box as a set of generic ink cartridges and 20 refills.  It included a reset switch to fool the printer into using it.

The price on eBay?  $30 including shipping.  The quality?  Don't really care for that price, but it looks fine to my eyes.  The location?  China.. did you have to ask?  "The Ink Manufactory company, genuine ink.  Keep away from child!"

It would be interesting to find out whether there is a 'conspiracy' to hold back cheap toner out of retail stores from places like China.  Since Epson has a built-in feature that locks it from using 'non-genuine' cartridge refills, I wonder what the magic eight ball would say?

Question:  Is there a worldwide conspiracy to replace oil with price-controlled ink toner as the global force to dominate the world?

Magic 8 Ball:

A Boston man has filed a class-action lawsuit accusing hardware maker HP and office supply retailer Staples of colluding to inflate the price of printer ink cartridges in violation of federal antitrust law. According to the suit, HP allegedly paid Staples $100 million to refrain from selling inexpensive third-party ink cartridges, although the suit doesn't make it clear how plaintiff Ranjit Bedi arrived at that figure.

Source: $8,000-per-gallon printer ink leads to antitrust lawsuit

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