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All quiet at the Commerce Commission

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, May 5th, 2011 - 23 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, corruption, same old national - Tags:

Since Paula Redstock was pushed out of the Commerce Commission with a lot of the other brilliant staff, there has not been one cartel or monopoly abuse case prosecuted by the Commerce Commission. This is the very same Commission that was saving us millions of dollars each year and paying for itself with its court settlements.

Surprise, surprise, there has now been a National party stooge, Dr Mark Berry, put in charge of the Commission, who is nothing but a sop to his masters in my opinion, these masters, big business and there corporations are backing the National party.

So even if Steven Joyce comes out with, ‘we will let the Commerce Commission oversee things’ beware! the game is already rigged.

The chief adviser to Steven Joyce has been named in a court decision yesterday as implicated in advising Telecom on anti-competitive practices which have resulted in a $12 million fine.

This official, Bruce Parkes is the man who has designed, and will oversee, the government’s broadband schemes. Both schemes have come heavily under fire for their potential to be anti-competitive and to not result in good outcomes for consumers.

It is a simple fact that we have a Commerce Commission that hasn’t prosecuted one case for cartel or monopoly abuse since National came to power.

Fuck National and their backers. They are stealing from us and we need to pull them down and stomp all over there them at every opportunity.


23 comments on “All quiet at the Commerce Commission ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    Bad timing, perhaps:

    The Commerce Commission says the costs of mobile texts and calls should drop significantly after it slashed the fees phone companies charge each other for mobile calls and texts between customers.

    Mobile termination charges for calls to and from mobiles will drop from 18 cents a minute to less than 4c a minute by April next year, with further reductions until 2014.

    Fees for text messages will drop from 9.5c per text to 0.06c from tomorrow.


    As far as decisions by the commerce commission goes, this one is likely to have a very big and immediate impact on the prices most consumers pay every week/month for their cell phone plans.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Well, I think MrSmith was saying that no one had been prosecuted for cartel/monopoly action and that soft-on corporate stooges have been installed. All those still stand as current I think.

      NB the action to successfully get termination charges lowered goes back many years, back to when Paula was in charge and possibly earlier.

  2. vto 2

    Completely agree that the Commerce Commission has been subjected to political demands. It was foreseen as soon as the nats came into power. You could almost hear the cheering from those in bigger business. It was widely known.

    I am daily more flabbergasted at the shit that goes on in this country. I am just about run out of flabbergasterability and flabbergasterfuel.

  3. Mr Smith – do you have statistics on the amount of prosecutions carried out by Labour, pref by year?

    • lprent 3.1

      Danyl, probably not the best phrasing there. The politicians giveth or taketh the resources but aren’t meant to interfere in the process.

  4. Carol 4

    Paul Brislen, CEO of the Telecommuniations Users Association (TUANZ) was interviewed on the Commerce Commission’s decision. He says this is a battle won, but the next battle is to get the retail price dropped. He says that people need to put pressure on their mobile providers to lower their rates, because without this it won’t happen. And move company if they are not going to lower their prices.


    Brislen says that the Commerce Commission only has some say in the wholesale, not the retail rate. Apparently 2 Degrees have already said they won’t be lowering their retail prices.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      2 Degrees were already operating at a loss. They’re still much cheaper than vodafone and telecom, so we should see them dropping their prices, especially now that they can do so and still make a healthy profit.

  5. nadis 5

    I think you’ll find it is actually Rebstock, not Redstock.

    And you are seriously deluded about the brilliance thereof. Please explain yourself, a bit of evidence might be useful. The only regulatory authority more useless than Redstock (not Redstock)s lot was Diplocks lot.

    And when you write a post decrying the evilness of the Welfare Working Group will you still mention the brilliance of Paula Rebstock (not Redstock).

    Seriously, you cant have any day to day familiarity with competition or compliance issues.

    If you look at the evidence I think you’ll find both the Commerce Commission and the Securities commission were toothless dogs under both National and Labour, for a number of reasons including the lack of robust legislation. At least that has been (mostly) resolved in the case of the Securities Commission by the introduction of the FMA under National. The real problem for the Commerce Commission and other regulators is outdated legislation – egregious behaviour illegal in many countries is often not illegal here. Where Rebstock (not Redstock) and Diplock are most deficient was that they did not lobby the government of the day (Labour) for changes to law which would make them more effective regulators of modern day practices.

    And if the Nats were looking for ways to help out their ‘mates” in the financial sector they wouldn’t have created the FMA.

    Shit quality post by Mr Smith, completely ignoring facts that don’t fit with his ideology.

    And lastly, 5 minutes of web surfing shows 8 enforcement actions (including against Telecom, Banks) under the commerce act in 2010. Mr Smith. You need to get out more and stop inventing facts.

  6. nadis 6

    And if the offenders were unable to agree a settlement with the commerce commission the enforcement action would instead become a prosecution. Right?

    • MrSmith 6.1

      I think you have missed the point of the post , please read past the first paragraph and it may become clearer.

  7. Paula Rebstock being pushed out was a clear sign the future was to be Crony Capitalism (as Nature and God intended).

  8. nadis 8

    I’m not sure how you get Rebstock was some bastion of iron discipline and rectitude?

  9. tc 9

    Have to agree with both sides here. Rebbers and the Dipster were pretty woeful, just took the dosh whilst allowing such rulings as a supermarket duopoly, entrenching sky and fletchers even further in to name a few and the highlight for me the wet bus ticket on the wrist PPCS got for outright lying on holdings in a 3rd party in their hostile richmond meats takeover.

    Throw in wonder boy weldon and it was what made our market known as a cowboy affair (it still is) however on the other hand the Nats are staying to their tradition and making out like they’ve fixed it all….yeah right! Now let’s watch them forge on and find SOE’s to chuck on it for that ‘nice to have’ carve up amongst the backers.

    We should have a much more competitive landscape than we do and I’m sure the dipster and rebbers would’ve done the NACT proud but hey when you win finally after 9 years it’s your turn with your people, it’s only fair and the train sets back so chance for more double dipping maybe and see if it floats.

  10. Drakula 10

    It looks as if the Commerce Commission is going the same way as the Overseas Investment Office, you know the bastards who let in all the globe trotting crooks to invest their ill gotten gains here and enjoy a weaker infrastructure.

    The neo-cons will say ‘ oh but they are investing here, creating wealth and jobs’ yeh right!!
    (1) cheapr wages (2) export profits and (3) less tax !!!!!!!!!

    That’s the trickle down theory, or should I say the trickle down myth!!!!!!!!!

  11. James 11

    well done- this article is spot on.
    90% of consumers, households and taxpayers are being ripped off every day by these corporate and political criminals. how can you be prosecuted and face jail for stealing a candy bar- while these politicians and CEO’s plot to steal 10’s of millions out of every NZ’ers pockets.
    Something needs to be done. I will be posting a amateur analysis of this situation in the coming day or two and will endeavour to link it here also. it needs attention/ noise etc. we need to get in the habit of putting any ;politician or businessperson in jail if they are proven to be in effect stealing money from consumers and tax payers. most young families in Auckland are struggling to keep their phones, internet and power bills paid while these greedy bastrds commit what amounts to theft from those often without the power to even see or understand how they are being screwed. Let’s start putting these thieves in jail asap. Serious questions need to be asked about Helen Clark’s empowerment of Fonterra and the result of that sell out on our milk prices today. anyone stealing from other NZ’ers should be chucked in jail- whether chocolate bar from a shop or 10mil from mobile users. summons that Guttang cow and see if we can start be chucking her in side for a while. It is the lowest of low to steal from your fellow citizens/ neighbours etc…..What was Guttang’s salary? 5mil p/a or something. That was not enough for her? She needed to steal from everyday Kiwis and hold up a whole industry at the same time (mobile broadband). Criminal if true-surely- jail time please. 100 years ago we would have hung her in public wouldn’t we?

  12. James 12

    that last comment on article though- just read it- i think you will find it was Helen Clark who did some type of deal with Fonterra which gave rthem all the power they needed to now charge us whateva they want for milk and cheese. Things tighten up overseas and so tnhey just hike porices here for us.

    You are certainly missing the point if you turn this into a Labour National thing- its doesn’t matter who you vote for- there is a very high chance your elected official will sell out on hyou before their term is done and it is always to big business interest. It has even been said that helen Clark sent young NZ soldiers to their deaths overseas in order that she could sort out Fonterra and in turn secured a nice job at the U.N. If true that is the sickest thing i have seen in NZ politics to-date- war. But rest assured, selling out is not just a National party thing.

    We dont even live in a democracy in this poor little wet shit whole- you vote Labour or National and you will stil be getting screwed by telcos, power companies, gas companies, Sky TV, Fonterra etc. Those business big homos cok sukas are wining and dining all of the political parties who show any chance of being elected for 24 months before you even know the next move. and yes it needs to change. the commerce commission is supposed to be our defender- they are useless/ sold out. we need to fire thjat CEo immediately- show everyone that position is not to be messed with. Nicholas Hall isn’t it?

  13. James 13

    From: (me)
    Sent: Sunday, May 08, 2011 12:22 PM
    To: Ritchie Hutton;
    Cc: Lesley Cornish;

    Subject: Commerce Commission negligence

    Hello Ritchie and Lesley

    I have been paying close attention to your organization and its actions in the past weeks, since discovering via my own complaint about NZG that you are in fact completely useless.

    The ruling on Telecom was nothing short of pathetic- did you think people would eat it up because it was a “record” amount?

    Your new ruling on transfer fees is also truely pathetic- it took you 10 years to figure out that the Telcos where charging 150 times too much for text messages and still no penalties or mandatory reduced prices? Truely dumbfounding.

    I have never been the type to be satisfied with meaningless jobs in nice offices under boses with unclear agendas, often bad odor and extensive relationship and drinking problems- I did try at various times but always found those environments painfully septic. I much prefer to get on with things and achieve. I could almost feel sorry for the both of you, except you are wasting tax payers money (bludging). I reiterate that you should do the honorable thing and resign and go on the dole until you find something with some purpose that doesn’t burden other tax payers.

    The chatter on how pathetic some people perceive you guys to be is increasing you might notice- and I am helping to steer that also- as promised. I have discovered some like minded people who can also see what is going on here and our aim is to send a bit of a rocket of public opinion up your sorry behinds (starting with your CEO and then coming back to the negligent job you did on my complaint- which will involve you both directly).

    Your organization appears to be very corrupt and obviously even a little corruption is not acceptable. I have no doubt that this smell of corruption extends right though into our elected Government and has a lot to do with who has sold out to who- I’m not sure how much we can dig into all that but something needs to be done about you guys (the ComCom) first and fast.

    I can’t say what I would do if I were you- stay there and be useless and ashamed I guess- thats the type of people who seek those positions typically.

    If there is any chance either of you could grow some balls and go do something with purpose then I encourage you to do so – on a personal level.

    Kim McLeod from AJ Park Ltd was the rather useless lawyer who worked for NZG on their false/misleading and anti-competitive law suit that I presented to you and you ignored- if you Google his name now you get an idea of what I mean by chatter. In fact I would presume he will be either planning to leave the Country soon, or will just have to specialise in the sex industry from now on (defending escorts copyright or some such) . He really was useless however (if one goes on the outcome of his $15,000 effort for his client) and he seemed to have a history of aiding large companies harrass much smaller competition (such as your friends at Telecom) . This is similar to you guys I guess, in that you get to dress nice and sit in a nice office all day, but you are actually non-productive and just a drain on the economy (this is only my opinion of course- a waste of resources and space).

    Monopolies who overprice, the sometimes rather brainless lawyers who work for them, any politicians who are in their pockets, and any Government agency that allows all this to go on- are all just a dead weight loss to the economy and other tax payers- simply because a few at the top are greedy, selfish and dishonest. Again- rather revolting and totally unaccetable.

    The approach with you guys will be slightly better thought out and will use formal media avenues (he was leading a case about the sex industry so obviously his name is now associated with that industry -rather extensively).

    If you have any skills at all and any pride- I strongly suggest you look for another organization to work for – one without such obvious false agendas.

    You are supposed to be working for tax payers- go drive a bus and at least have the chance of some pride in what you do.

    Yours etc

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