Media

More transparency on gas pricing

The ACCC’s Gas Inquiry 2017–20 Interim Report – April 2018 released today confirms that while conditions in the east coast gas market have improved since September 2017, the market is still not functioning effectively.

Prices offered to large commercial and industrial (C&I) gas users towards the end of 2017 were well below the peak of over $20/GJ in early 2017. After falling to a range of $8 to 12/GJ between June and November 2017, price offers made between November and January 2018 narrowed to $8 to 10/GJ for gas commodity.

Gas inquiry April 2018 interim report

This is the third interim report of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) inquiry (‘the Inquiry’) into gas supply arrangements in Australia. The ACCC has continued its focus on the operation of the East Coast Gas Market, where there are immediate and longer-term concerns.

ACCC will not oppose waste industry acquisition

The ACCC has announced that it will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Tox Free Solutions Ltd (Tox Free) (ASX: TOX) by Cleanaway Waste Management Limited (Cleanaway) (ASX: CWY).

Cleanaway and Tox Free both supply waste management services, including the collection, treatment and disposal of municipal, commercial and industrial, liquid, hazardous and medical waste. They also provide various types of industrial services.

Airport profits continue to grow

Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney airports all significantly increased their profits from aeronautical activities in 2016-17, with profits per passenger also rising, according to the ACCC’s annual Airport Monitoring Report.

The four airports earned a combined $757.6 million in operating profits (EBITA) from aeronautical activities in 2016-17, up 9.9 per cent in real terms from the previous year. Sydney Airport alone earned $360.8 million.

ACCC won’t oppose Zodiac and Fluidra deal

The ACCC will not oppose the proposed merger of Piscine Luxembourg Holdings (Zodiac) and Fluidra, S.A. (Fluidra).

Zodiac and Fluidra are global companies supplying residential swimming pool equipment in Australia. Combined, they would have a significant Australian market share in some products such as pool pumps, filters, water treatment, cleaners and automation systems.

However, the ACCC considered that remaining competitors would provide sufficient competitive constraint following the merger.

Second shipping company pleads guilty to criminal cartel conduct

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line), a global shipping company based in Japan, has today entered a guilty plea in the Federal Court to criminal cartel conduct.

K-Line’s plea follows an investigation by the ACCC and charges laid by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to cartel conduct concerning the international shipping of cars, trucks, and buses to Australia.

ACCC finalises report on communications market

The ACCC has today published the final report of its communications sector market study, which includes 28 recommendations and actions on competition and consumer issues.

Much has changed since the ACCC published its draft report in October 2017. Since then, the ACCC has secured eight court-enforceable undertakings from various internet service providers on NBN speeds, and commenced an inquiry into NBN wholesale service standards. NBN Co launched promotional pricing for its 50Mbps speed product and CVC charges, responding to concerns by service providers.

Flight Centre ordered to pay $12.5 million in penalties

The Full Federal Court of Australia has today ordered Flight Centre to pay penalties totalling $12.5 million for attempting to induce three international airlines to enter into price fixing arrangements between 2005 and 2009.

Flight Centre sought to have each airline agree not to offer airfares on its own website that were less than those offered by Flight Centre.

The matter was remitted to the Full Federal Court for determination of penalty, following the ACCC’s successful appeal to the High Court of Australia in December 2016.

ACCC approves Saputo - Murray Goulburn acquisition after undertaking

The ACCC will not oppose Saputo’s proposed acquisition of Murray Goulburn’s (ASX: MGC) assets, after accepting a court-enforceable undertaking from Saputo to divest Murray Goulburn’s Koroit plant.

Murray Goulburn and Saputo, which owns Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, both acquire milk from farmers in south-west Victoria and south-east South Australia, including in areas around Warrnambool and Mt Gambier.