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CEOs of two of Australia’s biggest airlines, calling for the federal government to come in and regulate airports, in order to cut down on customer costs and fees.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, alongside Virgin CEO Paul Scurrah, spoke at the National Press Club, held in Canberra recently, saying that airports have customers under their thumb thanks to their monopolies, which result in customers having to deal with high fees just to get to the country and board their Cairns to Port Douglas shuttle, or wherever their destination is.
The two bigwigs are saying that Australian airports and their monopolies are excessive with their fees, and are damaging the country’s economy, as a result, their behavior enabled by a lack of actual regulation, control or intervention to keep them in line.
Mr. Joyce notes how Australia is home to four of the world’s most profitable airports, yet, none of these airports are rated as some of the best in the world, showing a notable discrepancy in profit and customer satisfaction.
Mr. Scurrah, meanwhile, notes that the unregulated status of the airport industry in Australia means that the airports have free reign to set fees as they see fit, noting how one Aussie airport’s 2018 annual report stated proudly that their revenues from their aeronautical services went up by 52%, in spite of aircraft movements dropping by 0.03% in the same time period.
Their comments came just before the publication of the report by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s Productivity Commission, which will be the basis on decisions regarding the regulation of Australia’s airports.
Mr. Joyce took some heat after it was revealed that he was the country’s top-earning executive in 2018, receiving a total salary of about $24 million in the same year his company posted a massive profit of $1.6 billion.
As for the airports, a report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), released in February 2019, noted that the parking costs dropped for the country’s four biggest airports, to the benefit of travelers without a Cairns to Port Douglas shuttle or something of the like.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims explains that these drops are a good example of what competition can do for pricing, with airport parking under threat from off-airport parking, ride sharing, as well as public transport.
Two officials of Adidas including an aspiring NBA agent were found guilty of fraud charges connected to schemes of secretly paying families of top basketball recruits to gain their commitment to college teams that Adidas sponsors. Federal prosecutors and FBI agents in New York City were happy with the verdict because they have spent more than 3 years in investigations on college basketball black market.
It was apparent that the jurors accepted the government’s arguments that the defendants committed fraud in Louisville, Kansas and the state of North Carolina when families of the top recruits were paid between $2,500 and $90,000. This is a violation of NCAA rules and had the schools known of the payments, they wouldn’t have awarded scholarships to the top recruits. According to government prosecutors, the schools may face possible penalties and NCAA sanctions.
Jim Gatto, one of the defendants, is a marketing manager of Portland, Oregon-based Adidas North America while Merl Code, another defendant, was a former consultant for Adidas basketball and Nike.Meanwhile, Christian Dawkins was a former recruiter of ASM, a prominent sports agency. The three defendants will face as much as 20 years in jail for convictions on wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracies. However, legal observers say that the 3 are unlikely to receive sentences that are in excess of a few years each.
Gatto’s, lawyer will file an appeal for his client to remain free while waiting for the outcome which is very likely to take years. Code and Dawkins will be facing their second trials next year in connection will the alleged illicit payments.
The interconnected network of people working in the basketball underground is seeking to influence elite teenage basketball players including recruiters for NBA agents, business managers and employees. However, witnesses say that under-the-table payments to players and their families are routine.
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