Hans Luik: Democracy means freedom of speech and market freedom as well

A publisher and entrepreneur Hans H. Luik said on Vikerraadio's morning program that several large foreign companies operating in Estonia have achieved such a dominating position in this small market that they can behave arrogantly with the consumers.

"I think that freedom and democracy don't only mean freedom of speech. When there's no market freedom, people find out through their wallets that we have a province and we are not protecting ourselves. The free market is something that can't have this eastern phenomenon that we see in Russia, Belarus or Turkey, where the leader does what he wants and people just need to accept it. The market needs to be pushed consistently," Luik said.

Luik highlighted telecommunication companies, banks and water supply companies as examples.

"It's like a flexible bridge that at one point, the weight is so heavy that the bridge can't handle it and the company gets full of itself. It sees that the market position has been achieved and it doesn't need to improve anything so it just surrounds itself with lawyers and a secure network and starts ticking the money machine.

"The telecommunication company Telia is a clear example of a company which has achieved a great position so it doesn't need to meet anybody halfway with the speed of wifi or television packages. If nothing is a threat to the company and the consumer is a little bit lazy, they will continue behaving this way," Luik said.

He also wrote a similar-themed article in the weekly newspaper Eesti Eksüress "Miks nad Eesti tarbijat kotivad? Sest nad võivad!" (link in Estonian).


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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