Posts tagged #Sarah Turner

Airports not exercising market power – Productivity Commission

February 2019

The Productivity Commission today released its draft report on the Economic Regulation of Airports. 

We recently prepared analysis for Australia’s major airports and showed that airports have not been exercising market power in aeronautical, car parking or ground access services.

The draft report finds that existing airport regulation benefits the community and remains fit for purpose, and agrees with our analysis that Australia’s four major airports have not systematically exercised market power.

In aeronautical services, airports are constrained by the countervailing power of airlines, and generate “returns sufficient to promote investment while not earning excessive profits”. Prices at airport car parks are “not the result of market power”, but reflect the high opportunity cost of land near airport terminals, and act as signals to manage demand and reduce congestion. Airports are constrained in car parking by the myriad ways to access the airport.

The PC also finds that the current approach to regulation works well and wholesale changes are not justified. Instead, it recommends updating the current monitoring regime so that airports include more detail in their cost and revenue reporting to assist in future assessments on the effectiveness of regulation.

The PC is now accepting feedback on the draft report ahead of the final report in June.

The HoustonKemp team advising Australia’s major airports included Greg, Luke, Brendan, Sarah, Bronwyn, Alyse and Nick.

Airport market power – taking off or pie in the sky?

August 2018

Greg, Luke, Sarah, Bronwyn and Nick recently advised Australia’s four major airports as part of the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into airport regulation. We analysed the extent to which the airports have market power in car parking and ground access, and whether they have used any such power.

Our analysis shows that, despite the ACCC’s repeated claims of “very high” profit margins (see here), the airports do not appear to be exercising market power in the provision of car parking or ground access services. Indeed, car parking prices appear to be explained to a significant extent by locational rents and convenience premiums, which are key elements of efficient pricing.

The airports are materially constrained in car parking by off-airport car parking operators and the availability of many other transport options with a diverse range of features and prices. The airports also have a strong incentive to maximise the number of visitors accessing the airport, since ground access revenues tend to represent only a small proportion of total airport revenue.

Our reports can be found here: Brisbane Airport, Melbourne Airport, Perth Airport and Sydney Airport.

Posted on September 11, 2018 and filed under Reports.

Expert report on proposed merger

May 2017

Greg Houston prepared an expert report for Minter Ellison in relation to the application before the Australian Competition Tribunal by Tabcorp for authorisation to acquire Tatts. The report examines the effect of the proposed merger on competition, and the public benefits that are likely to arise. Greg was assisted by a number of our team including Luke Wainscoat, Sarah Turner, Daniel Young, Sam Forrest, Stuart Morrison and Sarah Nelson. The report is available here.

Petrol prices in Perth

March 2016

Luke Wainscoat and Sarah Turner have used data provided by Nick de Roos at the University of Sydney to depict the pattern of price changes for retail petrol in Perth, over the decade from 2003 to 2013. This video summarises that dynamic, in the form of a chart that shows:

  • the change in the petrol price from one day to the next (cents per litre) on the vertical axis;
  • the number of days since the beginning of the current petrol price cycle on the horizontal axis, where each cycle is taken to commence when the change in prices across all outlets is positive; and
  • the degree of uniformity of price changes across outlets, with darker shades of red indicating that more petrol stations changed their prices by a given amount on a particular day of the cycle. 

The video highlights that:

  • petrol price cycles occurred frequently from 2003 to mid 2004;
  • price cycles were few and irregular between mid-2004 and early 2006;
  • fortnightly price cycles occurred regularly from mid 2006 to mid 2008; and
  • a weekly price cycle began in early 2009, which became more prominent and regular from 2010.

The paper prepared by Nick de Roos and David Byrne with the same data is here.  

Posted on March 31, 2016 and filed under Presentations.