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Australia: high industry concentration, high profit margins, says UBS

by Michael West | Jan 19, 2023 | What's the scam?

Competition regulator the ACCC has to sign off on ANZ’s takeover of Suncorp and and Brookfield’s bid for Origin Energy. What’s the scam?

The scam is, as shown in the graphic above by investment bank UBS, Australia is a land of high prices – oligopolies with high industry concentration – yet both deals, if approved, will only deliver further monopoly power: one less bank and one bigger, more vertically integrated energy company.

UBS analysis highlights four reasons Australia is good for foreign investors: fast population growth, high dividends, relative detachment from global economic cycle and a concentrated industry structure: “For consumers the outcome of this is bad, i.e. less choice and expensive prices. But for the businesses that are already here, this is great, i.e. less competition and higher margins”.

 

Michael West established Michael West Media in 2016 to focus on journalism of high public interest, particularly the rising power of corporations over democracy. West was formerly a journalist and editor with Fairfax newspapers, a columnist for News Corp and even, once, a stockbroker.

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