Decision making processes
The ACCC members are collectively referred to as the Commission and meet regularly, usually weekly, to make decisions on matters investigated by the ACCC. The meetings are usually chaired by the Chairman and must include at least two of the full-time members. Matters include mergers, authorisations and notifications, whether to begin court proceedings, and decisions about access to infrastructure facilities.
The ACCC has five committees to help streamline the Commission’s decision making. These committees comprise full-time members and/or associate and ex officio commissioners who have expertise on particular matters.
- the Enforcement Committee meets weekly and oversees the enforcement program. Its recommendations are referred to the Commission for decision
- the Mergers Committee meets weekly and considers most mergers matters. It refers major matters to the Commission and reports to it on others
- the Communications Committee meets as required and oversees functions on telecommunications, including matters arising under Part XIB and XIC of the Competition and Consumer Act (formerly the Trade Practices Act) and authorisations. It coordinates with the Enforcement Committee
- the Regulated Access and Price Monitoring Committee meets as required and oversees access and price monitoring issues
- the Adjudication Committee meets weekly and considers authorisations and notifications, and reports to the full Commission.
Some of the decisions relating to grants of immunity and arbitration decisions involving access to essential facilities, can be appealed to The Australian Competition Tribunal. Additionally, many of the ACCC's decisions are also subject to review under Commonwealth administrative law principles.