I’m taking a few minutes away from studying for my GB110 Legal and Ethical Business quiz to talk a little bit about this whole collusion thing going on in the “angel ecosystem”. If you missed it: Arrington’s post.

After reading Fred Wilson’s response about collusion and his rejection that collusion is actually happening in the venture capital space, I put together some of the things he said, namely: venture capital deals typically don’t have as many subscribers in a syndicate as syndicated angel deals, venture capital collusion isn’t really happening, angels have welcomed his firm into their own deals, and the like.

The question is: if collusion is an actual threat, is it really that big of a deal? Collusion itself is, yes, a pretty big problem. Price fixing (well, valuation fixing) with the cooperation of the interested parties is both untrustworthy and unethical. However, the angel and seed-stage world is large enough that collusion in a small group such as that described by Arrington is not going to make a huge dent (even if it includes the ‘top ten angels.’)

Whereas a startup raising money through venture capital runs the risk of collusion in their syndicate of two or three VCs (which, as Fred says, isn’t really a risk as collusion isn’t really happening much in the VC space), an angel syndicate has less of a chance.

With the help of services that promote transparency in the angel world such as Venture Hacks’ AngelList, the chances of being able to pull off price/valuation fixing with these angels, a large number of which seem like ethical folks, is pretty minimal.

The problem comes in when super angels, as they’re called (and as Fred dislikes to call them), start to block off the angel group and section off to their own space in the middle of angels and VCs. I don’t think that will happen. Even given what Arrington heard during the meeting. They have more to lose than gain by doing so, and that’ll be a clear signal of something strange happening behind the scenes.