ACCC takes on air cartel case

THE two worst airlines I have ever travelled on were Garuda and Iberian. The latter we took from Paris to Barcelona 10 years back.

The cabin was filthy and breakfast was a stale croissant and a paper cup half filled with lukewarm, undrinkable stuff I guessed was supposed to be coffee.

The former was a reluctant choice to get me from Brisbane to Jakarta as quickly as possible on urgent business. Actually Garuda has a chequered history. It was grounded by the European Union in 2007 when it was found a notorious daredevil pilot had ignored instructions to slow down on an approach, over-ran the landing strip and killed a lot of passengers.

Garuda is owned by the Indonesian government. A week or so ago it failed to duck a bullet in our High Court when its claim of immunity under the Foreign States Immunity Act was given the boot.

The ACCC's job is to stop uncompetitive behaviour. It has a pretty good record of busting cartels where big businesses enter into secret agreements to fix prices. The latest has been the ACCC's role as part of a co-ordinated action by international agencies alleging that a crop of international airlines agreed to rig the market by setting common freight rates.

Qantas has rolled over and copped a fine and a public shaming as have a few others. Next month the ACCC has a date in the High Court with Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific and Thai Airlines. And now Garuda will join the line-up.

Hopefully all of them will get a big kick up the bum. Cartels are by definition anti-competitive and price fixing hurts absolutely everybody.

Bob Lamont is senior partner in Corporate Accountants and Rid Tax situated at the Night Owl centre. He welcomes your questions directed to

Topics:  accc air new zealand emirates garuda opinion singapore airlines

Dragon boat invasion on river for Jacaranda weeekend

IN TO WIN: Grafton Dragon Boat Club show off its new Gen 4 boat.

Dragon boats will invade the Clarence River this weekend.

Angourie assembles strong team to defend home surf

SPRAY: Up-and-coming Angourie surfer Dakoda Walters practises his turns ahead of the Australian Boardriders Battle this weekend.

Australian Boardriders Battle hits Clarence Coast

MP: 'This animal is going to cost society millions'

Kevin Hogan MP for Page.

Kevin Hogan considers capital punishment in case of monster parents

Local Partners

Greg and Christine find a new (gold) lease on life

Christine and Greg Clark star in the TV series Aussie Gold Hunters.

COUPLE reckons there’s nothing like finding your first gold nugget.

Race facts and stats a winning combination

Impress colleagues with Melbourne Cup trivia

Birdy's voice soars during concert

English singer Birdy proves her skill during a recent concert.

The singer, 20, has acquired mythical status in the music world

Miley Cyrus finally confirms engagement to Liam Hemsworth

Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus.

Eccentric singer confirms long-held rumour

Former Oasis frontman threw popcorn at his brother

The Gallagher brothers have famously feuded for many years.

Oasis brothers still haven't made up

OUR SAY: Why musicians should be called 'tradies'

Should bands be paid every time they play? Journalist and musician Tom Gillespie thinks so.

We need to change the way we think about musicians.

Want to own one of Australia's best restaurants?

TOP GONG: Mooloolaba Spice Bar has been named in TripAdvisor's Top 10 Australian restaurants for 2016.

Here's your chance to pick up one of the Coast's favourite eateries

Maclean's highest house sale this decade

SOLD: Ray White real estate agent Alan Bruchert has just put a new sticker on Maclean's most expensive house to sell in a decade.

Unique riverfront home sells for more than $920,000

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!