Thursday, July 3, 2008

Commerce Commission needs to derail KiwiRail owners

When your competitor sets the rules for competition you know there is something horribly askew.

With the buyback of Toll Rail, in the form of KiwiRail, the New Zealand Government, by way of legislation, can pass any sort of tax, competition law or edict, making things difficult for rail's competitors, the trucking industry.

Even before Toll Rail passed into taxpayer hands midnight Tuesday 1 July, a deal had been stitched up to allow free rentals for several years, on freight depots for the trucking division, the only profitable part of Toll's NZ freight business that the NZ government let them keep.

When that was proven too politically volatile for the public to swallow, the check book was pulled out again and NZ$18 million of taxpayer cash was added to the initial purchase price to put Toll's trucking division in a enviable position when compared to its competitors,.

Now the skewing of the fork when it comes to competition in the freight sector continued with an up to 10% increase in road user charges for diesel trucks on Tuesday July 1, the same day rail was renationalised.

So what is happening here-avoiding the obvious political point of using taxpayer money-is that money and legislation is being used by the government to not only give corporate welfare(sorry I couldn't help myself) to a private company by handing them $18 million bucks to compete against other private trucking companies, but you have the owner of an inefficient, loss making business that will never make money, trying to even the competitive playfield, for them, by penalising its competition with extra taxes!

My head is dizzy with vitriol!!

I will be indirectly hit in the pocket here because I own shares in Mainfreight[MFT] a very competitive, efficient and profitable transport player . Toll trucking have a definite competitive advantage over such companies with that $18 million of taxpayer funds in their back pockets.

Like the State run Air New Zealand[AIR] freezing out competition in the domestic airline industry, the squeeze on transport and trucking companies by the Labour government will continue as long as they remain in office, because rail just cannot compete on a even footing.

Finally, the main point of this column was to make a point to the Commerce Commission, who always check out this blog when their name is mentioned, and one of their office drones googles over a soy latte to find out who is talking about them. Such actions described above are clear violations of competition law.

Instead of salivating over hot State funded QC's appealing against the The Warehouse[WHS] case that you lost in the High Court why don't you get off your ivory soaked easy chairs and do something in the trucking business Vs KiwiRail anti competitive case.

Government's actions via their ownership of KiwiRail make their anti-competitive moves against the private transport industry a banner case.

To win this Ms Rebstock, Chairman of the CC {photo above} would be an easy case and get you the attention that you so obviously desire.

I'm waiting with baited breath for you to file your writ against KiwiRail.

Tell me when to exhale.

Related Share Investor reading

Why did you buy that Stock?[Mainfreight]
Mainfreight keeps on truckin
The history of The Warehouse takeover players indicates a long and winding road
Day of protest by truckers against tax

c Share Investor 2008