The richest brothers in the World, Mukesh and Anil AMBANI of New Delhi, are battling each other in the Supreme Court of India. The subject of their dispute is the price of natural gas.

            Mukesh contracted to sell gas to Anil at one futures price, but two years later the federal government mandated a price 80% higher. A winning judgment is said to be worth $20 billion over 17 years; "worth fighting for" as they say on the CBS reality show, Survivor.  

            The brothers, who inherited different industries from their late father and are now middle-aged, live in the same building with their mother, wives and children. That has to be a new Bollywood TV program; a mega-mega-house divided!

            Each side unquestionably has the World’s most skilled attorneys offering reasonably accurate predictions about the likelihood of success. Since the case has not settled, I am convinced one of three situations has to apply: Either significant doubt exists about the judicial outcome; at least one brother is bound and determined to "roll the dice"; or this is a grudge match that is more about psychology than business, law or economics.

            In the United States, the litigation outcome would be less murky. Our Congress can set prices; and it has done so in the past.  We currently have a national minimum wage, and we could have a natural gas price if Congress chose to set one. If Mukesh and Anil were in America, they would know for sure that drilling and selling had to comply with federal regulation.