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ACCC seeks feedback on competition law reforms

The Australian government has released an exposure draft of the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Competition Policy Review) Bill today to implement reforms identified by the Harper Competition Policy Review.

ACCC seeks feedback on competition law reforms
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To help interested parties understand the proposed reforms, the ACCC has released a framework for guidance on how it proposes to approach two important proposals in the exposure draft bill:

  • amending the misuse of market power provision (section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010) to introduce a substantial lessening of competition test to determine whether a business with a substantial degree of market power has engaged in anti-competitive conduct; and
  • the creation of a prohibition against concerted practices that substantially lessen competition.

The ACCC has indicated that if the bill is indeed enacted, the regulator will publish guidelines to explain its approach to possible breaches of prohibitions.

“We are interested in receiving comments or suggestions from interested parties regarding the proposed content of the guidelines outlined in this framework,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

“In particular, the ACCC is inviting feedback from consumers, businesses and other stakeholders about the issues and topics the ACCC can provide guidance on to assist them understand how the amended misuse of market power prohibition and the prohibition on anti-competitive concerted practices are likely to operate and how we’ll approach those provisions,” Mr Sims said.

Submissions to the ACCC on the framework for guidance can be made by close of business on 3 October 2016 in relation to misuse of market power and concerted practices.

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