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 markets increase the prosperity and welfare of Australian consumers. Our role is to protect, strengthen and supplement the way competition works in Australian markets and industries to improve the efficiency of the economy and to increase the welfare of Australians.
This means we will take action where this improves consumer welfare, protects competition or stops conduct that is anti-competitive or harmful to consumers, and promotes the proper functioning of Australian markets.
Our priorities are reflected in four key goals:
- maintain and promote competition and remedy market failure
- protect the interests and safety of consumers and support fair trading in markets
- promote the economically efficient operation of, use of and investment in monopoly infrastructure
- increase our engagement with the broad range of groups affected by what we do.
ACCC initiatives also include promoting consumer education in regional and rural areas and with indigenous communities.
Our role complements that of state and territory consumer affairs agencies who administer mirror consumer protection legislation in their jurisdictions, and the policy work of The Treasury’s Competition and Consumer Policy Division.
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.