Commentary

Price Gouging at Amusement Parks

Cedarfair, the owner of amusement parks such as Knots Berry Farm in California and Cedarpoint in Ohio, has agreed to buy five amusement parks owned by Paramount for $1.24 billion. The acquired parks include Kings Island outside of Cincinnati and sister parks in Toronto, Richmond (VA) and North Carolina. Fortunately, federal regulators are watching this deal closely to protect consumers from this lifestyle threatening concentration of power:

Cedar Fair, the Sandusky-based owner of Cedar Point & Soak City and six other theme parks, said today that it had signed papers to buy the parent company of Kings Island ââ?¬â?? Paramount Parks ââ?¬â?? from CBS Corp. for $1.24 billion in cash. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and closing, but is expected to go through in the third quarter.

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Samuel R. Staley, Ph.D. is a senior research fellow at Reason Foundation and managing director of the DeVoe L. Moore Center at Florida State University in Tallahassee where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in urban planning, regulation, and urban economics. Prior to joining Florida State, Staley was director of urban growth and land-use policy for Reason Foundation where he helped establish its urban policy program in 1997.