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#2191670 - 12/03/13 12:14 AM Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers!
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2407
Loc: Olympia, WA

This was a very interesting article about the recent investigation that the FTC has been conducting against the Music Teacher's National Association. I've been a member of MTNA for the past few years, and it makes me sad that they are having to spend so much time and resources defending themselves. They do a lot of positive things to promote teaching music, especially piano. What a waste!

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303562904579224251626379422
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#2191776 - 12/03/13 07:38 AM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: rysowers]
Rerun Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 612
Loc: Louisiana
Child Protective Services will probably weigh in next on whether a one hour piano lesson should be labeled punishment.
_________________________
Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







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#2191824 - 12/03/13 10:19 AM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: rysowers]
KurtZ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 928
Loc: The Heart of Screenland
This is already being hashed out ad-nauseum on the teachers board.
_________________________
I just wanted to be just "a" guy. That's enough of a life.

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#2191839 - 12/03/13 11:10 AM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: rysowers]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4215
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

This is unenforceable on two fronts;

First the FTA has no authority over 501(c) 3 groups, so this is an opinion from the FTA only. Further and more importantly Congress has never acted on the request from the FTA for more control over these groups, so their opinion of ethics is just that; an opinion which is not enforceable.

Secondly, the part where the MTNA is required to read some paper at every event, along with getting all 500 affiliates to sign up is un-enforceable. Who checks the signatures and whether or not the affiliates are actually a person or people?

Any good lawyer would tell the commission to buzz off until such time as it got a court order, which is unlikely given the fact that Congress has not given any response to further authority over 501’s.

Leaves one to wonder why the MTNA signed any compliance agreement with anyone previous to a court order stating so.

Seems like poor legal advice for that part given that there would be reams of evidence that would go contrary to the FTA opinion of fixing lesson pricing.

Another example of a government agency over-reaching its bounds of authority.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#2191844 - 12/03/13 11:15 AM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
Rerun Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 612
Loc: Louisiana
Wonder what would have happened if Gibson Guitar told the govt. to buzz off when they stormed the place over some wooden blanks.
_________________________
Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







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#2191850 - 12/03/13 11:21 AM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: rysowers]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4215
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Read the article again. Especially the part about non-profits which are in a category labelled 501(c) 3 and do not come under the authority of the FTA.

Gibson’s guitars is not listed as a non-profit, it is actually the opposite, a corporation to make money.


The FTA getting the MNTA to sign a compliance agreement; the FTA can then take that agreement to Congress as evidence that the MTNA is willing to see the FTA as having authority over the non-profits.

It is a way to legitimize the FTA request to Congress through to back door. It is called and end run around the law as it stands today. As of this moment the FTA has no authority over these groups.

Once Congress rolls over like the MTNA then the FTA can continue its fishing expedition for evidence of price fixing.

The FTA has to justify its existence so going after the low hanging fruit is usually the way.


_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#2191878 - 12/03/13 12:17 PM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: Rerun]
iLaw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 241
Loc: Chicago
Originally Posted By: Rerun

Wonder what would have happened if Gibson Guitar told the govt. to buzz off when they stormed the place over some wooden blanks.


Handcuffs would have happened, for one!

Larry.

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#2191883 - 12/03/13 12:24 PM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
Rerun Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 612
Loc: Louisiana
Quote:
Gibson’s guitars is not listed as a non-profit, it is actually the opposite, a corporation to make money.


Yep, it was a comment about cherry-picking and force, not bottom line.
_________________________
Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







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#2191886 - 12/03/13 12:33 PM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: rysowers]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2726
Loc: Atlanta, GA
If the FTC even enters a lawsuit, the adversarial nature of judicial process will still exhaust the resources of a small group like MTNA's organization. Right or wrong, every spurious argument that seems to be relevant has to be evaluated, researched and responded to at the $$$ per hour. And if you win on 95% of the arguments, because it was not 100%, you can probably forget about being reimbursed for costs.

It is absolutely a waste and a shame.


Edited by PianoWorksATL (12/03/13 12:34 PM)
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
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#2191887 - 12/03/13 12:43 PM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
oldiebutnewbie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/10
Posts: 62
With all due respect, Mr. Silverwood, the FTC absolutely does, indeed, have jurisdiction over professional and trade organizations organized under section 501 (c) 6, to the extent that those groups provide "substantial economic benefit" to their members. The Supreme Court so held by unanimous decision back in 1998.

I don't know what MTNA chapters typically do for members, but if they offer things like insurance discounts and website listings of area teachers, for example, then it would be hard to argue against jurisdiction. Plus, as Mr. Bennett says, the cost even to try to make the argument is prohibitive.

As one poster in the teacher's forum suggested, this whole thing almost surely arose from a complaint by a disgruntled member.


Edited by oldiebutnewbie (12/03/13 04:55 PM)

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#2191922 - 12/03/13 02:08 PM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: rysowers]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2382
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Great use of taxpayer dollars here, Mr. Obama.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2191930 - 12/03/13 02:20 PM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: oldiebutnewbie]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4215
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted By: oldiebutnewbie
With all due respect, Mr. Silverwood, the FTC absolutely does, indeed, have jurisdiction over professional and trade organizations organized under section 501 (c) 3, to the extent that those groups provide "substantial economic benefit" to their members. The Supreme Court so held by unanimous decision back in 1998.

I don't know what MTNA chapters typically do for members, but if they offer things like insurance discounts and website listings of area teachers, for example, then it would be hard to argue against jurisdiction. Plus, as Mr. Bennett says, the cost even to try to make the argument is prohibitive.

As one poster in the teacher's forum suggested, this whole thing almost surely arose from a complaint by a disgruntled member.


The eighth para in the article states otherwise, so something is not accurate;

"The FTC didn't care. Nor did it blink when the MTNA pointed out that the agency has no real authority over nonprofits (it is largely limited to going after sham organizations) and that Congress has never acted on the FTA's requests for more control over 501(c) 3 groups."


_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#2191988 - 12/03/13 03:49 PM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: rysowers]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5559
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
I was curious about this, both because of the discussion in the teachers forum, and because I have several nonprofits as clients.

I can't think of an exact parallel with the MTNA at the minute, since the MTNA doesn't exam or license anyone, and the other examples of nonprofits having to revise their code of ethics that were given in the other forum were organizations which do license or test their members, and/or members of the profession have to be also members of the org. But perhaps a little closer was the PTG, so I looked them up.

Of course, the PTG *does* examine its members, and gives them a title if they pass - RPT, registered piano technician. However, one does *not* have to be a member of the PTG in order to be a piano tuner and/or tech - there is no legal requirement to be a member.

The PTG Code of Ethics says this:

"I will engage only in business practices that are in accord with the antitrust guidelines as set forth by the Piano Technicians Guild."

So I tried to find the antitrust guidelines. But I couldn't find them on the site. I *did* find the disciplinary actions the PTG can take if a member is accused of violating the Code of Ethics, in their By-Laws. They can, of course, eventually revoke someone's membership.

So there are similarities and differences between MTNA and PTG - both organizations are voluntary and emphasize education of their members, but MTNA apparently has no enforcement procedures or consequences at all for their code of ethics.

But at some point the PTG felt the need to directly address "antitrust guidelines." Does anyone know the history of this? Does anyone know what those guidelines are? PTG certainly can't, as an organization, bar entry to the trade, as can the Bar Association. So what antitrust guidelines are they asking their members to adhere to? (Not getting together and setting prices?)

Just curious.

I guess the MTNA's prior ethics code on soliciting other teachers' students doesn't really seem like a monopoly in the making to me, but to emphasize that in their code of ethics has always struck me as a little defensive laugh or overprotective at best. That's just me, of course, and it doesn't make it wrong.

But I'd still like to know what the PTG has to say about antitrust guidelines.

Cathy
_________________________

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#2192000 - 12/03/13 04:06 PM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: rysowers]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1767
Loc: Conway, AR USA
In the USA, price fixing is considered a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Guilds and associations whose memberships are comprised of independent businesses must be very careful not to even imply or intimate such via bylaws, et al. By agreeing not to solicit other teachers' students, who knows how the government could be viewing the implications?

I agree, it is a waste of time.


Edited by bkw58 (12/03/13 04:12 PM)
Edit Reason: typo
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com/

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#2192003 - 12/03/13 04:06 PM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: rysowers]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5559
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
I just looked at the American Institute of Certified Bookkeepers Code of Ethics. While it addresses integrity, professionalism, etc, the only explicit admonishment it makes to the "profession of bookkeeping" is to "not bring discredit" to the profession, and to share nonproprietal knowledge with others in the profession. Nothing about not soliciting others' clients.

Again, it says nothing about whether MTNA's Code of Ethics was right or wrong. But it seems more concerned with not soliciting others' customers than similar orgs, and explicitly so, so, if a member complained (and that's the scuttlebutt in the teachers forum) someone saw it as a problem. As to whether the FTC has jurisdiction, there seems to be some evidence on both sides of that issue, to me.

Cathy
_________________________

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#2192023 - 12/03/13 04:54 PM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
oldiebutnewbie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/10
Posts: 62
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos
Originally Posted By: oldiebutnewbie
With all due respect, Mr. Silverwood, the FTC absolutely does, indeed, have jurisdiction over professional and trade organizations organized under section 501 (c) 3, to the extent that those groups provide "substantial economic benefit" to their members. The Supreme Court so held by unanimous decision back in 1998.

I don't know what MTNA chapters typically do for members, but if they offer things like insurance discounts and website listings of area teachers, for example, then it would be hard to argue against jurisdiction. Plus, as Mr. Bennett says, the cost even to try to make the argument is prohibitive.

As one poster in the teacher's forum suggested, this whole thing almost surely arose from a complaint by a disgruntled member.


The eighth para in the article states otherwise, so something is not accurate;

"The FTC didn't care. Nor did it blink when the MTNA pointed out that the agency has no real authority over nonprofits (it is largely limited to going after sham organizations) and that Congress has never acted on the FTA's requests for more control over 501(c) 3 groups."




You are correct. The reference in the article to a 501(c)3 is a red herring, since both the MTNA and the trade association in the Supreme Court case are 501(c)6 entities. My post above should cite 501(c)6 as the applicable code section.


Edited by oldiebutnewbie (12/03/13 06:29 PM)

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#2192069 - 12/03/13 06:38 PM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
Jacky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 69
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

Another example of a government agency over-reaching its bounds of authority.


Sad but true
_________________________
Seiler 132 Konzert

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#2192070 - 12/03/13 06:38 PM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: rysowers]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1767
Loc: Conway, AR USA
All of this reminds of the time when a certain city discovered a private piano teacher. "Where there's one, there must be more!" More there were, and none had purchased a city privilege license. Some teachers thought that in-home piano lessons were exempt. Others were unaware of the license altogether. Fact was, the city had no fee category for private in-home piano teachers. Making no distinction between the part-time teacher with a couple of students and the full-timer with 100, an arbitrary one-size-fits-all whopper of a fee was pulled out of thin air. Top city investigators were assigned to the case: "Find 'em all and get addresses." Letters went out to those who were located. What a stir that created.

It was another waste of time.
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com/

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#2192072 - 12/03/13 06:46 PM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: rysowers]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4215
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
I read this on the Linkedin Piano Tech forum;

Awhile back, not sure of when, the non-profit PTG was cautioned about members attending meetings and discussing tuning and repair prices as the FTC was of the opinion that this was communication to fix pricing or could be interpreted that way.

So members cannot talk about prices, fine then, and no problem right? A bit silly of course because who has not asked a competitor “hey BTW what do you charge for this or that?” I mean it is part of usual conversation with competitors in any business when they talk shop….

Now read this paragraph taken from the article; this is especially important:

“That's a common enough provision among professional organizations (doctors, lawyers), yet the FTC avers that the suggestion that Miss Sally not poach students from Miss Lucy was an attempt to raise prices for piano lessons. Given that the average lesson runs around $30 an hour, and that some devoted teachers still give lessons for $5 a pop, this is patently absurd.”

Here is one absurd scenario I thought of;

“I am going to take lessons with Miss Lucy because she charges less”…..or gives better service…..or picks up students…….or gives out stickers…or whatever the perceived bonus is in the clients mind.

So Miss Sally decides to “match” Miss Lucy’s pricing, service, student pickup, etc, in order to retain the student. Seems like a process to eliminate competition and encourage price fixing rather than discourage. The FTC seems to be of the mindset that poaching will create competition, a race to the bottom, with each instructor viciously undercutting the next.

Moreover, the MTNA with 22,000 instructors as members, each one could send a hand written note on their letterhead, signed and witnessed, to the MTNA with their prices for lessons. Some will be the same, some will be more expensive and some will be lower. This proves a competitive marketplace, and undermines the FTC claims.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#2192146 - 12/03/13 09:43 PM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: rysowers]
PhilipInChina Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/19/13
Posts: 1050
Loc: China
The sad part is that so many people will go for the cheapest under the impression that is the best value. How rarely is such the case. I am reminded of this:

Quality and price
It is unwise to pay too much, but worse to pay too little, when you pay too much, you lose a little money, that is all.
When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the things it was bought to do.
The common law in business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is as well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.
There is hardly anything in the world that someone can’t make a little worse and a little cheaper- and people who consider the price alone are this man’s lawful prey.
_________________________
Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"

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#2192323 - 12/04/13 08:33 AM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: PianoWorksATL]
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14051
Loc: Louisiana
Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
If the FTC even enters a lawsuit, the adversarial nature of judicial process will still exhaust the resources of a small group like MTNA's organization. Right or wrong, every spurious argument that seems to be relevant has to be evaluated, researched and responded to at the $$$ per hour. And if you win on 95% of the arguments, because it was not 100%, you can probably forget about being reimbursed for costs.

It is absolutely a waste and a shame.


DING! DING! DING!

Folks, we have a winner!

Forget arcane legal arguments and who's right and who's wrong. If the Feds decide they really want you, unless you are the biggest of corporations, you're leaving the courtroom bloody, bruised and broke - even if you win.

Ask the guys at Abbot Diagnostics (in no way considered a small company) or Beckman-Coulter International (who was stupid enough to hire some of the upper management of AD while the FDA was whupping their company's butt). Multi-million dollars in lost profit as product lines were swiss-cheesed, new product lines delayed and an FDA inspector looking over almost every corporate shoulder.

For products that were not proven, AFAIK, to have had an adverse effect on anyone.

When you print your own money, you become the 800 pound gorilla nobody wants to fool with.
_________________________
www.coffee-room.com

Over 1,000,000 posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

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#2192897 - 12/05/13 11:03 AM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Dan,

the thing of it is that the MTNA cannot control pricing in the market, or restrain trade, as it doesn't control the music teaching market in any way! Too many people give lessons who are not members of the org, so it's ridiculous to say there's a monopoly going on here.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2193974 - 12/07/13 01:33 PM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: laguna_greg]
Mike Carr Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/20/09
Posts: 714
Loc: BANNED
Despite MTNA desperate casting of themselves as hapless victim, in my opinion, while they are seemingly hapless in this case, their problem with the FTC arises not from heavy handed government but from allegedly not following simple guidelines regarding antitrust compliance.

Why a cursory antitrust audit wasn’t done years ago is the question that seems to be lost here in all the hand wringing and finger pointing. Instead of now spending hundreds of hours and their members' money putting out fires, the MTNA could have simply snipped a few sentences from their ethics list and included an antitrust compliance statement much like this one from NAMM’s website:


Some conduct is considered unlawful under the antitrust laws of most countries regardless of (a) the reasons why it is undertaken, (b) the revenues or assets of the parties involved in the conduct or (c) the justifications that can otherwise be made for the conduct. Examples of such "per se" or "hard core" unlawful activities include: (1) price fixing with competitors, (2) bid rigging, (3) allocating customers or markets and (4) certain group boycotts of customers. These "per se" violations are illegal regardless of the circumstances.


As for the mystification of the FTC and non-profits:
http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/0010203/index.shtm

Mike
_________________________
smoke 'em if you got 'em

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#2194352 - 12/08/13 02:10 AM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: rysowers]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2407
Loc: Olympia, WA
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#2194452 - 12/08/13 10:48 AM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: Mike Carr]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2382
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: Mike Carr

Despite MTNA desperate casting of themselves as hapless victim, in my opinion, while they are seemingly hapless in this case, their problem with the FTC arises not from heavy handed government but from not following simple guidelines regarding antitrust compliance.

Why a cursory antitrust audit wasn’t done years ago is the question that seems to be lost here in all the hand wringing and finger pointing. Instead of now spending hundreds of hours and their members' money putting out fires, the MTNA could have simply snipped a few sentences from their ethics list and included an antitrust compliance statement much like this one from NAMM’s website:


Some conduct is considered unlawful under the antitrust laws of most countries regardless of (a) the reasons why it is undertaken, (b) the revenues or assets of the parties involved in the conduct or (c) the justifications that can otherwise be made for the conduct. Examples of such "per se" or "hard core" unlawful activities include: (1) price fixing with competitors, (2) bid rigging, (3) allocating customers or markets and (4) certain group boycotts of customers. These "per se" violations are illegal regardless of the circumstances.


As for the mystification of the FTC and non-profits:
http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/0010203/index.shtm

Mike


While that's all true, don't you think the government has bigger fish to fry - and blow taxpayer money on - than going after piano teachers?
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2194509 - 12/08/13 01:26 PM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: rysowers]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
I don't see why there isn't an organized effort to contact our Congressmen about this?
They can get something done.
This is ludicrous!
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2194535 - 12/08/13 02:52 PM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: rysowers]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2407
Loc: Olympia, WA
I've contacted my congressman, and provided links to the various articles. It only takes about 10 or 15 minutes to do so. As national attention on this issue builds, it will be hard for lawmakers not to see this investigation as ludicrous.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#2194575 - 12/08/13 03:53 PM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: OperaTenor]
Mike Carr Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/20/09
Posts: 714
Loc: BANNED
Opera Tenor,

I’m a little surprised you don’t see the irony of fretting over tax payers money while taking the side of a non-profit/tax shelter. The FTC is not taking action against piano teachers or Ms. Lucy in her whale bone corset. They are taking action against a non-profit organization that allegedly failed to take reasonable steps to insure antitrust compliance.

One of the writers’ talking points was that the FTC ignored physician and bar associations allegedly committing the same crime, that is, questioning members' ethics for stealing clients, customers, or patients. I can’t think of one bar association or physicians group that openly advocates the “owning” of customers or treating them like chattel. This is something that companies historically don’t want you discussing, even in private, much less including it in their own rules of ethics.

Another talking point proffered by the MTNA’s counsel was that the FTC doesn’t have jurisdiction over non-profits. Again, simply not true in this case.

The MTNA membership should be asking its directors why they are wasting membership dues on an alleged matter that should have been dealt with much earlier using common antitrust compliance measures.

“But a former head of the FTC's anti-trust division, Susan Creighton, told Fox News it is common for the FTC to investigate price fixing in cases where trade associations include phrases like, "It would be unprofessional to compete with one another" in their by-laws.”

Uh, yeah, because it’s probably illegal. And it's the FTC's job.

Mike
_________________________
smoke 'em if you got 'em

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#2194577 - 12/08/13 03:56 PM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: rysowers]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2194578 - 12/08/13 03:57 PM Re: Federal Trade Commission Targets Piano Teachers! [Re: OperaTenor]
Rerun Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 612
Loc: Louisiana
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Originally Posted By: Mike Carr




While that's all true, don't you think the government has bigger fish to fry - and blow taxpayer money on - than going after piano teachers?




Small businesses are a big fish to fry these days.
_________________________
Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







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