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Surprise surprise on monopoly pricing

  • February 18th, 2014

Surprise, surprise – disclosure regime does not constrain extraction of monopoly profits from Christchurch airport users.

The Commerce Commission report that disclosure has been ineffective would have been a surprise if it had found the other way. Light-handed regulation by way of disclosure against benchmarks is effective only when there is a realistic prospect that the government will impose price control if the monopoly persistently exceeds the benchmarks.

Bear it in mind that the benchmark includes bias of error allowances for the monopolies that the Commission itself has acknowledged are "generous".

Christchurch Airport is probably coolly calculating that the government will be loath to take on a fight with yet another limb of the Canterbury 'peoples' republic' establishment at this time, so will leave Christchurch Airport outside price control. Canterbury businesses will suffer under inefficient peoples' republic pricing for a while yet.

Pity about people like the eloquent owner of Airpark featured on Campbell Live last evening.

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