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Xenophon finds chink in ACCC’s defence of Qantas-Emirates deal

The ACCC may have said too much during its process of assessing the Qantas-Emirates deal by raising the claimed unsustainable state of the Australian icon’s long haul operations.

The competition authority’s chair, Rod Sims, has publicly rejected a need to investigate the airline’s internal affairs in relation to the alleged cross subsidisation of its Jetstar brand by a full service Qantas brand in reaching a decision about its plans to code share away some of its customers into Emirates services.

However as Xenophon points out in the statement below, the ACCC has previously said it accepted the Qantas claims in reaching a decision to propose approving the deal in December. So, if it sees fit to make a finding based on Qantas finances, why is it no longer sufficiently relevant for further discussion?

Surely the ACCC ought to reveal what it already knows, since the it clearly found the detail sufficiently compelling to reference it in its procedures.

Or to put it more directly, having said Qantas long haul was headed for oblivion, it ought to share the depth and rigor of its inquiry into this aspect of the approval process with the public, to whom it was set up to protect.

Had the ACCC not gone down that path, it could have shut the whole issue down by simply saying, ‘Qantas is now so irrelevant to competition on the kangaroo routes that competition will continue to thrive whether it flies the routes in question or not’.

Which is why the writer is a reporter, and not a diplomat or public administrator.

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  • 1
    patrick kilby
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Not sure what Nic is on about. It is a no brainer that the number of services would decline without the deal otherwise why have the deal. It is not about the phrase ‘terminal decline’, it is about a reduction of the number of services by an end of line operator on an overcrowded route. What is happened in the past is that services on the non-overcrowded routes have increased as a result, and most likely will happen again. That is why all these deals are done: much ado about nothing!!!

  • 2
    Flying High
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Nick is off with the pixies or should I say he is spending too much time with the engineering union leadership.

    Lets just arbitrarily shift $50m of costs per year out of Qantas and onto Jetstar for the purposes of this debate. Does it make any difference to the situation? No, it does not make any material difference to Qantas International – it has been losing many times that amount.

    Agree with Patrick here, much ado about nothing!!!x2

  • 3
    gapot
    Posted January 18, 2013 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    One of the strangest comments to come out of this debate on the new route is that people of the Jewish faith may not feel comfortable landing in Dubai. Having lost the battle in St Ives about the Erv maybe this will be the test for the ACCC

  • 4
    Harry Rogers
    Posted January 18, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Wow such perplexing comments to this story if this is the way business is done now.

    Perhaps everybody has got so used to the lies that Qantas tells that a senator in the Australian government is urged not to question the tenor (read lies) of the Qantas submission just accept that in Australian business and the ACCC everybody lies!

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