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Analysis and Comment (13)

Australia’s corporate regulator wants to tackle what it believes is collusion in the petrol industry, but court action to date hasn’t really succeeded. Australia’s corporate regulator wants to tackle what it believes is collusion in the petrol industry, but court action to date hasn’t really succeeded. AAP/Lukas Coch

Fixing the fixers of petrol prices is no easy task

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s latest foray into the difficult and politically charged arena of petrol pricing is just the latest in a long running saga that is unlikely to be resolved…
A cheap or costly drop? You might be surprised to find out how Australian taxes on petrol compare to overseas. A cheap or costly drop? You might be surprised to find out how Australian taxes on petrol compare to overseas. AAP/Andrew Brownbill

FactCheck: do Australians pay high petrol taxes?

UPDATED ON TUESDAY 22 JULY: See editor’s note below for details on the updates. In this year’s federal budget, the Abbott government moved to restart automatically increasing the fuel excise in line with…
Motorists can expect higher petrol prices in 2014…and beyond. Motorists can expect higher petrol prices in 2014…and beyond. David Crosling/AAP

No petrol price reprieve for motorists this year

Australia’s cost of living is among the highest in the world, despite our low inflation rate. In this series we explore what consumers can expect from the big ticket items - petrol, power and groceries…
Costco is looking to expand its US petrol business to its Australian stores. Costco is looking to expand its US petrol business to its Australian stores. lokeswari/Flickr

Costco’s entry into petrol is unlikely to help most consumers

In a new twist in the long-running Australian petrol wars, Costco is preparing to join the discount petrol market. Sydney’s second Costco outlet, scheduled to open later this year, will reportedly sell…
Legally, it would be extremely difficult to prove shopper docket fuel discounts are anti-competitive. Legally, it would be extremely difficult to prove shopper docket fuel discounts are anti-competitive. Michael Welsh via Flickr

Are shopper dockets anti-competitive? Good luck proving it

A curious feature of the election campaign to date has been the lack of focus on competition and consumer policy. Generally this subject rates highly, as parties try to curry favour with consumers and…
Increasing the cost of petrol won’t wean people onto more fuel efficient cars. Increasing the cost of petrol won’t wean people onto more fuel efficient cars. Chris Murray

Higher tax proposal only adds fuel to efficiency debate

New research by economists from the Australian National University claims that if petrol excise duty were linked to inflation, Australians would drive less and buy more fuel-efficient cars. But higher…
If petrol prices are relatively low, why worry about burning the stuff? If petrol prices are relatively low, why worry about burning the stuff? David Neubert

Gas guzzlers fuelled by shrinking petrol tax

An iron law of economics is that people respond to incentives. If the petrol price goes up, it should be of little surprise that consumers alter their choices at both the petrol pump and the car dealership…
Proving that Woolworths and Coles engaged in unconscionable conduct with their suppliers will be a lengthy and difficult task for the ACCC. Proving that Woolworths and Coles engaged in unconscionable conduct with their suppliers will be a lengthy and difficult task for the ACCC. AAP

ACCC grocery inquiry will take a long time to bear fruit

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has declared open season on Coles and Woolworths. In an unusual step, the ACCC’s chairman, Rod Sims, discussed his organisation’s current investigations…
The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to keep the cash rates unchanged tomorrow: but prominent economists say the case for a cut may be firming. The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to keep the cash rates unchanged tomorrow: but prominent economists say the case for a cut may be firming. AAP

Hold ‘em: but case for interest rate cut strengthens

CAMA’s Shadow Board, which gives its views ahead of the decision by the Reserve Bank of Australia, continues to support the current setting of the cash rate at 3.5%. But economists are seeing a greater…
Australia’s energy security will fall again after Caltex’s decision to shut its Sydney plant at Kurnell (pictured), but the Federal Government is yet to have a coherent stance on domestic refining capacity. Australia’s energy security will fall again after Caltex’s decision to shut its Sydney plant at Kurnell (pictured), but the Federal Government is yet to have a coherent stance on domestic refining capacity. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Oil-slick politics: Canberra slippery on refinery shutdowns

Last week, Caltex decided to close its Kurnell refinery in Sydney. This closure follows a recent decision by Shell to close its refinery at Clyde in Sydney and it will leave the city without any oil refineries…
What can international markets tell us about whether Australian petrol price sharing arrangements are anti-competitive? What can international markets tell us about whether Australian petrol price sharing arrangements are anti-competitive? AAP

Price cycles and signalling in the petrol industry: what other markets can tell us

The way petrol is priced in Australia has been a perennially vexed issue. Earlier this month, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced it would launch an inquiry into price-sharing…
Read the second part of our In Conversation between Stephen King (left) and former ACCC head, Graeme Samuel. Read the second part of our In Conversation between Stephen King (left) and former ACCC head, Graeme Samuel. AAP

Graeme Samuel: the problem with petrol, the NBN and the ‘scare campaign’ against supermarkets

Welcome to part two of our In Conversation between the former head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Graeme Samuel and Monash’s Professor Stephen King, also a former competition regulator…

Research and News (1)