Economy

Jul 12, 2018

Is it time to consider the nuclear option in regulating competition?

We've been too hands-off on competition in Australia and the result if major industries dominated by oligopolies.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

When two of your most important economic sectors turn out to have major regulatory issues that have inflicted serious damage on consumers and customer businesses, it's a good idea to consider if governments have failed in their entire approach to them -- and how to remedy it.

The problems with banking and the power sector have been apparent for a long time, but have only reached a critical mass in the last twelve months, with the Turnbull government dragged kicking and screaming to intervention -- a royal commission it didn't want into banks, and reregulation and pseudo-nationalisation on power and gas. Each sector has their own specific problems and circumstances, but both have massively harmed consumers and both represent what happens when powerful oligopolies wield market power.

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