The international space station “Mir”, orbiting the Erath. Its name means “peace” in Croatian, but “space” in Russian. It took me years to realize that the name mentioned in the media was not translated.  Translators call such words “false friends” as they sound the same in multiple languages, but have different meanings.

Well, “cartel” is such a word. For most experts, it’s something out of a TV show or the international news. It never sounds like something that has to do with your own pricing, but it does.

Officially, a cartel is “any association of suppliers that results in price-fixing or price setting, therefore limiting competition”. And yes, that means that if you simply make a deal with a colleague not to go below a certain price point, you just formed an actual cartel, and are breaking the law*.

*I’m not a legal expert, but as far as I know, price setting is illegal pretty much anywhere in the world.

Do people still do it? Sure they do, just like they break many other rules. But you should at least be aware that such activity is illegal before you think about engaging in it.

Many experts I talked to were genuinely shocked that, unless sanctioned by the government or official associations, arranging prices of hourly rates is just as illegal as setting the price of heroin.

Now you know, and:


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