The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is an independent Commonwealth statutory authority whose role is to enforce the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and a range of additional legislation, promoting competition, fair trading and regulating national infrastructure for the benefit of all Australians.
The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is Australia's national energy market regulator and has an independent board. The AER shares staff, resources and facilities with the ACCC.
While specific functions vary according to the legislated responsibilities that underpin the ACCC and AER, the two bodies share many common objectives, both working to protect, strengthen and supplement competitive market processes.
The ACCC makes decisions through formal meetings of its commissioners and the AER through its board. ACCC Commissioners and AER board members are statutory officers. The staff of the ACCC form part of the wider Australian Public Service.
Making markets work for consumers, now and in the future.
Competitive, informed and (when necessary) well-regulated markets lead to lower prices, better quality products and services, and more choice. This increases the prosperity and welfare of all Australians.
We focus on taking action that most promotes the proper functioning of Australian markets, protects competition, improves consumer welfare and stops conduct that is anti-competitive or harmful to consumers.
The ACCC employs the following strategies to achieve our purpose:
- maintaining and promoting competition
- protecting the interests and safety of consumers, and supporting fair trading in markets affecting consumers and small business
- promoting the economically efficient operation of, use of, and investment in infrastructure, and identifying market failure
- undertaking market studies and inquiries to support competition, consumer and regulatory outcomes.
The AER employs the strategy of promoting efficient investment in, and efficient operation and use of, energy services for the long term interests of consumers with respect to price, quality, safety, reliability and security.
National Competition Council
The ACCC provides secretariat services to the National Competition Council (NCC), including advice and support in relation to NCC recommendations, decisions and reports, and administrative services.
The ACCC is an independent statutory authority that was established in 1995 to administer the Trade Practices Act 1974 (renamed the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 on 1 January 2011) and other acts. We have a Chair, Deputy Chairs, Commissioners and Associate Members. Appointments to the ACCC involve participation by Commonwealth, state and territory governments.
The ACCC currently comes under the portfolio responsibilities of The Treasury.
Milestones representing key aspects in the development and administration of competition and consumer law in Australia.