Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The role of the ACCC summarised

A great comment by Terje Petersen on Catallaxy, summarises just how this whole antitrust and competition watchdog nonsense works:

Ways to justify government intervention:-

1. If prices are low call it preadatory pricing.
2. If prices are stable and consistent call it collusion.
3. If prices are lower in some places than others call it a lack of proper competition.
4. If prices are cyclical (eg petrol) call it evidence of price co-ordination. And make accusations of greed since the price co-ordinaters are so mean as to put prices up at precisely the moment when demand is strongest.
5. If alternate suppliers are plentiful refer to the excessive consumer choice as confusing and inefficient.
6. If alternate suppliers are few then call it market failure.
7. If profits are high call it exploitation.
8. If businesses are failing call it wasteful and complain about job loses.


The advocates of government intervention have an endless supply of justifications. The stew is always too hot or too cold and never quite right.