Morph, it's true that they have volume discounts, but if locals find the same product at a lower price, they still have to purchase through the LDC. No exceptions. Why might that be? Simply so that some other project can get a mediocre price with the "volume discount?"
I think it is similar to the hotel rooms for assemblies. There's a sweet deal in there somewhere. Why not let locals shop for deals, then inform the LDC as to what they've found?
It's power trip.