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The Canadian Grand Prix produced excellent and exciting racing. Strategy played almost no part and we were treated to motor racing at its best. Sadly, the racing has been overshadowed.

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In Australia, 14 airlines have been found to have colluded to fix prices for freight. The latest to be brought to book is Garuda Indonesia and the penalties are substantial.

Today's news that a prosecution has collapsed and a jury discharged without even considering the evidence because of the lack of credibility of a witness put up as an expert might not be big news - if it wasn't for the fact that the witness is Andrew Ager, a sticky character, a self-described Subject Matter Expert, that the Crown Prosecution Service used as their go-to-guy for anything to do with carbon credits and, sometimes, frauds in other areas, too. Even more startling is the witness' attempts to pervert the course of justice. The CPS is, once more, the subject of much head-shaking for being rubbish. But culpable as they are, the CPS is not the only one against which accusations of ineptitude should be levelled.

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has begun proceedings in the Federal Court against Sony Interactive Entertainment Network Europe Limited (Sony Europe).

 

The complaint relates to limitations on warranty for Sony's online sales of PlayStation products that appear on its website and have been notified to Australian consumers in dealings with them.

It's far, far more complicated than the ACCC suggests and for global retailers it's a major threat.

The front page of the website of a solicitor's practice in Bolton in the north of England says "WARNING – SCAM ALERT – We have been advised that Allansons has been cited as the instructed solicitors by Agents purporting to be from ECM Asset Management Limited and in connection with investment equity release. No such company exists and we have been informed this is part of an ongoing investment scam. Allansons has not been instructed by any such company nor been involved in any such scheme." Sadly, the profession's regulator has found, there was malfeasance within the firm. And there is apparently unrelated skulduggery afoot.

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I'm highly critical of American style oval racing. It's far too orchestrated by "IndyCar" or "Nascar" and it's boring unless there's a crash (and who wants to wish for crashes that cause injury or death?). After all, who wants to sit through 185 laps only for a crash to force the "full course yellow" or, even, "safety car" that sets up the cars for the only bit that really matters: the last ten laps or so to the finish. I've watched it, on and off, for several decades and it's almost always Dullsville personified. Until this year's Indy 500. Oh, how I wish they could all be like this.

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AirAsia is a superb airline. Its aircraft are well maintained and clean, its crew are great. Yes, its ability to be anywhere near its scheduled departure and arrival times are the stuff of legend - for their persistent failures. It has an ultra-slick website that whizzes through the pages. but it's the website that is the real reason that one has to think twice about booking a flight. That's because so much of it, outside the core part of finding flights, doesn't work. Cheap fares are one thing - but not when buying them is so frustrating. But a failure today takes the biscuit. UPDATED AT END

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Following the release of market sensitive information last week (see Embarrassment for regulator with premature release of market sensitive information) there's an apology, of sorts. Is it fair dinkum or a feeble excuse?

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The phoenix is a creature of ancient Greek mythology, It was creature of Paradise and, when it became old and frail, it would self-immolate and a younger, stronger, even more beautiful version of itself would rise from the flames. It is also to be found in Egyption myth where, as the "Lord of Jubilees" it symbolised a fresh start The symbolism of the old going down in flames and something new and shiny, but essentially the same creature, replacing it is a far from mythical part of the corporate landscape. Unlike the bird, a corporate phoenix is rarely a good thing.

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The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) has issued a notice opposing a "merger" proposal involving TPG Telecom Limited (TPG) and Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd (Vodafone). The reasons include that TPG has been "disruptive" in a complacent market and is "the best prospect Australia has for a new mobile network operator to enter the market." But it's a far more complex picture than that.

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Here's an interesting situation. A competition regulator, by definition in possession of market sensitive information, has "inadvertently published on line" information relating to a proposed "merger."

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Mark Steven Domingo, 26, of Reseda, a former U.S. Army infantryman with combat experience in Afghanistan, faces federal charges. It is alleged that he expressed support for violent jihad, a desire to seek retribution for attacks against Muslims and a willingness to become a martyr. He was, the authorities allege, developing a terrorist plot in which he planned to detonate an improvised explosive device (IED) for the purpose of causing mass casualties.
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Lewis Hamilton made perhaps the most prescient statement of recent times in Formula One. He said that Ferrari have a faster car than Mercedes. But Mercedes, he said, have the better team, saying that the systems, the strength in depth in all departments, the stability are what give him and team-mate Valtteri Bottas the machinery that allows them to do the job. And with four one-two finishes in the first four races, in each case at least in part due to Ferrari fluffing something, even in the dense air of below sea level Baku which should have increased the red cars' performance advantage, it's increasingly looking as if he's right. But the apparent Sunday afternoon jog for the two Mercedes drivers around the streets of Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, is as much to do with the failures of others as the strength of Mercedes. Ferrari are not the only ones struggling to get it together.
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It's a fine point and one which raises hackles on both sides: should a state (which means the taxpayer) fund legal action against the state (which means the taxpayer as represented by elected members) where the action complained of is itself an action against the state (which means society at large)? It's an area where law, emotion and common sense collide and the result is not a pretty sight.

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F1 is fascinating for many reasons: one is the fact that there are days when one tiny event means not winning, when nearly perfect isn't good enough. And there's the fact that it's a brutal sport where fairness goes out of the window as soon as the lights go out at the first race of the season. Just three races into 2019 and it's already clear that even though much has changed, much has stayed the same.

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