Inquiry Into Price Gouging and Unfair Practices
7 February 2024
Tthere has been much discussion about inflation and its causes including monetary and fiscal policy, international factors, wages, supply chain disruption and war. However, there is hardly any discussion that looks at the actual prices charged to consumers, the processes by which they are set, the profit margins and their possible contribution to inflation. There is also much discussion about market power and its harms. But there is very little discussion of any policies or actions that might be taken to deal with the main harm: high prices. This inquiry has conducted 5 public hearings, received over 750 public submissions and more than 20 detailed contributions from academics, experts, think tanks, unions, businesses, and their representatives. This report summarises the key policy issues and draws on the submissions to develop a set of recommendations on price and competition policy which, if adopted, would substantially improve competition and decrease the price pressure faced by ordinary families.