I mention this only because I have long disdained drama in the hobby. Some may argue that by posting this I am part of the drama. Perhaps you are right. However, I have found over the years that I have been able to help end the drama by pointing out a different, more neutral, perspective.
I suspect that Reef Builders motives are pure but I also think that doesn’t really matter. They love the hobby clearly and are deeply imbedded in it. Sometimes that can bring emotions to the surface.
This relates to an article on the Reef Builders web site about controllers.
Controllers have always been too expensive for me. An Auto Top Off is the best I have ever been able to automate things. It is good that someone is trying to lower the price (though honestly still too expensive for me). I appreciate Reef Builders sharing new tech with us. In the linked article they are making claims of illegal practices by other companies attempting to keep the prices high.
I always think it is wise to be careful about such things.
It reads, “Instead of allowing discerning reefers to make up their own mind and letting the market decide, we’ve heard numerous troubling reports.” and latter reads, “We reached out to several aquarium controller companies and unsurprisingly, there were no admissions of directly engaging in anticompetitive practices.” For me, that’s not enough evidence to say, “It appears that a leading manufacturer of aquarium controllers in the United States has applied pressure to both online and traditional retail partners to discourage them from stocking and selling Coralvue’s upstart Hydros Controller. According to the FTC: “It is unlawful for a company to monopolize or attempt to monopolize trade, meaning a firm with market power cannot act to maintain or acquire a dominant position by excluding competitors or preventing new entry””
If they feel secure in making such accusations (and their lawyers feel secure in them making them) then they are doing what they think is right. For me, I would wait and see. I don’t have any brand loyalty to the web sites they call out. They don’t mention manufacturers but we can narrow it down based on who makes controllers and who doesn’t.
In the end I really would rather these things sort themselves out than people point fingers. We see this at a local level on forums and Facebook groups too. If something illegal is going on, take it to the authorities, not to the public. That is a trial by media and isn’t justice. There are other ways to promote a new product you believe in without having to make accusations against others. Why risk harming your own reputation if you are wrong or even stepping into legal issues yourself.