While this topic doesn't specifically have to do with Electric On-Road racing, it's something that keeps coming up over and over again as I talk to local hobby dealers, hobbyists and other people in the industry.
As many of you know, Team Losi was bought out by Horizon Hobby, and an after-effect of the sale has been a number of exclusive distribution contracts with various hobby stores (especially chain stores like Hobby People, which no longer carries any Horizon products whatsoever).
Another (and in my opinion, more damaging) effect was that small-volume dealers and smaller shops were cut off from Horizon for various reasons: lack of a storefront, small-volume sales, and so on. In a hobby where consumer choice has always been a major factor, we see our choices rapidly diminishing as larger companies lock up the distribution channels.
One of the best accounts that I've seen of this policy in action can be seen here:
Now keep in mind that I have nothing against Losi or Horizon. I drive Losi cars and I enjoy talking to their company reps and team drivers. And Horizon is, from their perspective, making a sound business decision, and as a large distributor in a competitive, national market, they have every right to do so.
Still, it's policies like these that will really hurt the R/C end-market in the long run, and the more people know about what is going on, the better. If you ever happen to talk to people in the industry, let them know how you feel. Give Horizon a call, or a letter, and let them know how you feel. You never know, sooner or later, somebody might be listening.