Billionaire retailer Brett Blundy looks to buy cattle stations; ACCC rules against taxi booking app ihail: Midday Roundup

Billionaire retailer Brett Blundy looks to buy cattle stations; ACCC rules against taxi booking app ihail: Midday Roundup

Rich Lister Brett Blundy looks set to buy two large cattle stations in the Northern Territory.

The two properties, Walhallow and Creswell station, cover more than 1 million hectares in the Barkly Tablelands.

The stations are owned by Macquarie Group’s Paraway Pastoral and the deal itself is estimated to be worth about $100 million, Fairfax reports.

The owner of retail operations including Bras N Things, Adairs and Lovisa, Blundy’s slated purchase is not his first foray into agriculture with the billionaire already owning other cattle properties in the Northern Territory.


ACCC rules against taxi booking app ihail


A new smartphone taxi booking app looks set to be given a red light after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today issued a draft determination proposing to deny its authorisation.

The ACCC ruling relates to an app created by a company called ihail Pty Ltd, which wants to introduce a single taxi booking platform for taxi networks including Yellow Cabs, Silver Top Taxi Service, Black and White Cabs, Suburban Taxis and Cabcharge.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement the competition watchdog is concerned the proposed arrangements would mean the app could have a “significant impact on competition in the industry” and produce “significant public detriments”.

“They will reduce competition between taxi networks in supplying services using the ihail app and, the arrangements may tip the market towards ihail becoming the dominant booking app,” Sims said.

“If it becomes the dominant booking app, it may also reduce competition by impacting the commercial viability of existing apps operated by individual taxi networks, as well as those operated by third parties such as goCatch and ingogo.”


Shares fall on opening


Local shares have fallen this morning on the back of a weak lead from Wall Street, reversing some of the gains of the past week.

Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said this morning despite the possibility of a “soft opening” this morning, the market would start the new week hopeful of consolidating last week’s gains.

“The commodity rally is likely to be a key theme for Australian markets this week. Is this a rally to be sold or the beginning of a major reversal in commodities?” Spooner said.

“The answer to this question will have an important bearing, not only on valuations on mining stocks but for sentiment towards growth prospects for the wider Australian economy.”

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 0.7%, falling 39.2 points to 5240.5 points at 11.55am AEST. On Friday, the Dow Jones closed up 0.2%, rising 33.74 points to 17084.5 points.



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