Competition Articles:

Energy policy, price escalation and the destruction industry competitiveness

Catallaxy Files, 8 June 2018

For some in Australia, the renewable rich UK electricity market is a beacon. ​ Wind produced 15 per cent of the UK’s electricity in 2017 and was running at 29 per cent earlier this year bringing Emma Pinchbeck, executive director of RenewableUK to opine, “The move to a smart, renewables-led energy system is well underway.” Greenpeace UK’s energy campaigner, Nina Schrank, added, “The plunging price of renewables is allowing low carbon energy to replace coal and gas”. The green soothsayers spa

ACCC offers no answers to government created energy crisis

Catallaxy Files, 21 September 2017

Appointed as head of the ACCC by Rudd Gillard, Rod Sims has a long association with the ALP going back to the Whitlam years. His re-appointment by the Coalition is unsurprising given the callow nature of conservatives and the fact that many have interventionist sympathies that accord with those of the leftist intelligentsia that Sims represents. In his speech to the Press Club Sims addresses two points that have been warmly embraced by like-minded people within the media.

Don’t allow regulators access to infrastructure developments

Catallaxy Files, 9 September 2016

In today’s AFR Matthew Stephens has an excellent piece pointing to the irony of Fortescue Metals facing a claim by another iron ore producer, the Chinese owned Brockman Mining, to make use of spare capacity on its rail line in the Pilbara. The claim is based on competition policy notions that firms should be required to share their infrastructure if they are not making full use of it.

ACCC opposes consumer interests and markets reappointment for its Chair

Catallaxy Files, 19 January 2016

Long standing ALP notable, Rod Sims, continues on his pursuit of reappointment to the Chair of the ACCC. This SMH piece begins, “Competition tsar Rod Sims has vowed to crack down on inflated petrol prices, warning retailers need to trim up to 7¢ a litre at the pump”. A public warning like this must surely appear on the regulators’ web site. But it is absent – the journalist was given an exclusive by the regulator as a means of ensuring prominence to an article that paints the ACCC boss as a crusading knight there to protect the consumer from ruthless price-gouging oligopolies.

Competition and its ACCC moochers

Published on Catallaxy Files, 6 August 2015

In responding to an article by Craig Emerson, Rod Sims yesterday promoted the case for making the misuse of market power section (46) easier to use to prosecute those employing monopoly powers to restrain competitors. This case was among the otherwise sensible recommendations in the Harper review. Sims argues that the current section is unworkable because, “to find a breach of the misuse of market power provision, the ACCC must prove that a company with substantial market power has “taken advantage” of that power for the purpose of damaging or excluding competitors”. Sims claims to have no problem with the notion of firms “seeking to outperform their rivals, and by erecting barriers to effective competition” which he correctly says is standard competitive behaviour.

Final episode in the drawn-out Holden drama

Australian Financial Review 12th December, 2013

Bill Carmichael in an op ed piece in today’s, The Australian promotes many of the right policies for sound government. He suggests we should have a level playing field – though in citing business leaders in support of this he is being rather selective.

Negotiating the path to free trade

Published on Catallaxy Files, 2 December 2014

Bill Carmichael in an op ed piece in today’s The Australian promotes many of the right policies for sound government. He suggests we should have a level playing field – though in citing business leaders in support of this he is being rather selective. And he rails against the appalling anti-dumping arrangements that we have which we use as protectionist tools. Indeed, he is rather soft on this, saying the reversal of the onus of proof is the problem

Consumer policy: Xenophon calls for price rises while Harper seeks reductions

Published on Catallaxy Files, 22 September, 2014

Nick Xenophon while not a socialist is one of those politicians who are perplexed that competition can bring benefits rather than costs in terms of jobs. He has previously unloaded against discount milk in supermarkets and now wants to stop supermarkets selling cheap bread, claiming that if they do the independent outlets will go out of business. Bread regulation has some history. Until Victoria’s radical free market government led by Joan Kirner sought to repeal the legislation in 1991, bread needed the Minister’s permission if it was to be carted more than 48.3 kilometers. There were increasing grumbles that the Minister was exercising that discretion all too readily.

ACCC needs to wear realities of fashion's changing look

Herald Sun 1st June, 2012

With fashion goods in retailing, the internet has introduced new and unpredictable marketing dilemmas. It has changed the way almost all of us go about shopping. It has vastly complicated firms' approaches to the traditional trade-offs between what they charge for their products, the distribution and in-store promotion costs they incur. And it is changing the nature of our high streets and shopping centres. The volume of online sales is doubling every four years in spite of a stagnant overall retail market.

Hazelwood decision is a victory for common sense

The Herald Sun 27th May, 2011

THE Commonwealth Government is flooding the media with climate change and carbon tax reports from taxpayerfinanced scientists and other propagandists. This ensures the continued prominence of its agenda for business decisions. In Victoria, the Government has sensibly overturned departmental advice to start closing the coal-fired Hazelwood power station in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Hazelwood supplies 15 per cent of the state's electricity and Mr Brumby's plans to start closing it would have sent electricity prices soaring and threatened reliability

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