The ACCC is warning consumers could pay more in the long run after asset sales.
The ACCC is warning consumers could pay more in the long run after asset sales. Max Fleet

Watchdog urges better deal from asset sales

THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is urging governments to maximise competition, not sale prices, when selling state assets.

The ACCC believes governments are incentivised to cap competition against an asset that is being sold in order to maximise the sale price.

However, the ACCC's chairman Rod Sims says that will not work for the benefit of consumers or taxpayers in the long run.

"In privatising to maximise proceeds my worry is that the government will sell them in ways that give the buyers the ability to raise prices in the future," he cautioned.

The New South Wales Government is currently talking up the partial sale of its electricity poles and wires to raise funds for infrastructure projects.

Mr Sims says recent NSW Government sales, such as the ports of Botany and Newcastle, have shown potential problems in the way sales are being handled.

More on this at the ABC and at the ACCC's website



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