Tough Times for Techell Corp | EVE Online

Tough Times for Techell Corp

2003-10-23 - By Svarthol

Techell Corp, well known for holding a virtual commercial monopoly over the highly sought-after MinerII mining laser, finds itself at the center of a growing corporate war. Sources inside Techell confirm that no fewer than six corporations have declared war against Techell Corp. Widespread accusations of predatory pricing on the MinerII technology are believed to be among the motivations.

Techell Corp, headquartered in the Algogille system, Crux Constellation, is widely known for being the only corporate entity mass-producing MinerII mining lasers for sale on the open market. Techell has been embroiled in controversy since they first acquired the schematics necessary for construction, with accusations of price gouging haunting them from the first.

"I'm only surprised at how long it took to happen," said the Gallentean science officer of a small mining and industrial corporation known to have past dealings with Techell. "Their complete lack of business ethics was bound to get them into trouble. Now the big questions are how long this will last and what will come of it." When questioned about the accusations of price gouging, this source confirmed what many are saying: the raw material and processing overhead of the MinerII is only around 50% more than that of the MinerI. He went on to say, "One thing's for sure, Techell needs a new angle. The Miner II supply curve is shifting quickly, and the equilibrium price will likely settle at much lower than the ridiculous prices we have observed." The science officer requested that his name, and that of his corporation, be withheld in connection with this article.

Hanni Ekollessen, a representative for the Caldari Business Tribunal, dismisses claims of corporate predation by Techell. "All these accusations of unfair pricing are ridiculous. The market price is what the market will bear. Techell moved so many units of these MinerIIs at the prices they set that they couldn't keep up with demand. Is the MinerII worth the price they charged? It was to enough people to make that possible." Ekollessen went on to say, "I would have raised prices in response to demand, personally. The corporate war they are now facing is a public relations failure--but price gouging? Provided price points are presented to the public in an appropriate manner, there is no such thing."

Meanwhile, representatives of Techell Corp are issuing a call-to-arms for Techell supporters, going so far as to fling wide the doors to new personnel. One statement released by Techell reads, in part, “Join Techell today and destroy M0O and LBC without Concord interference! Crush with impunity spare none and plunder all that remains! [sic]" M0O and LBC are two of the corporations known to have standing war declarations against Techell. Reactions to this statement have been negative so far, with prior customers of Techell Corp coming forward with long-standing grievances against Techell.

"We supply them with millions of units of minerals, without which they'd be unable to manufacture their goods," said one former customer. "We asked them for a small discount, something like three or four percent, on a bulk order of MinerIIs. We were flatly—-and rudely—-refused." Such stories are common, but so too are sales of MinerIIs, even while this situation unfolds.

Techell Corp representatives did not respond to repeated requests for comment at the time of this writing.

Corporate wars, as many readers know, are a formalized arrangement sanctioned by Concord and the various regional authorities as a concession to the former lawlessness of dealings between the empires. The corporate war system has been in place since the Youil Conference 106 years ago, and is tightly controlled and structured. Once a corporate war is declared, members of all corporate entities involved are free to attack--and be attacked—-at any place and any time by enemy combatants. While a corporation is limited by law to declaring three wars against its rivals, there is no limit to the number of wars that can be declared against a corporation.

Observers agree on one thing: it will be interesting to see what comes of this in the weeks ahead. "There are dark days ahead for Techell indeed," said Hanni Ekollessen. "Six corporate wars with more likely to follow? It doesn't matter how big or wealthy a corporation is, that sort of effort will be difficult to sustain." That remains to be seen, and ultimately only time will tell how long and how hard this corporate war will be fought.