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Of course there's a double standard! The ideal for a company is to charge everyone exactly what they'd be willing to pay. Companies usually do this with coupons and such -- if they have one buyer who is going to buy for X no matter what, and another buyer who would only pay .9X, they find a way to give the second one a coupon that the first one will ignore. Universities and used-car dealers are especially good at this.

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The term for this is price discrimination. Once you start looking for it, it's hard to stop: especially in luxury products like wine, jets, and investment banking (millions of dollars for "Why, yes, that is a sensible acquisition!" is clearly a luxury product), the entire game is to find people willing to pay ten times as much for the same goods, and figuring out how to make them pay it.

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