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 Chair and must include at least two of the full-time members. Matters considered at Commission include mergers, authorisations and notifications, whether to begin court proceedings, and decisions about access to infrastructure facilities.

ACCC decision making processes and committees

The ACCC has seven sub-committees to help streamline the Commission’s decision making. These committees comprise full-time members and/or associate members who have expertise on particular matters.

  • the Enforcement Committee meets weekly and oversees the ACCC’s enforcement program to ensure compliance with and enforcement of the CCA. Its recommendations are referred to the Commission for decision
  • the Mergers Review Committee decides if mergers and acquisitions are likely to substantially lessen competition. Decisions to oppose a merger or to accept an undertaking to remedy competition concerns are referred to the Commission for decision
  • the Communications Committee meets fortnightly and is the principal forum for the consideration of regulatory and competition issues arising in the communications sector. Major statutory matters are referred to the Commission for decision
  • the Infrastructure Committee meets fortnightly and oversees access, price monitoring, transport and water regulatory issues
  • the Competition Exemptions Committee meets fortnightly and considers applications for authorisation; significant notifications of exclusive dealing and collective bargaining conduct, and significant certification trademarks applications. All applications for authorisation are subsequently submitted to the Commission for decision
  • the Consumer Data Right Committee meets fortnightly and oversees the ACCC’s role in the implementation of the Government’s consumer data right policy, including the development of rules and recommendations regarding designation of future sectors
  • the Compliance and Product Safety Committee meets fortnightly and sets the policy and strategic direction for the ACCC’s contacts (for example through the Infocentre), Compliance and Product Safety functions; makes decisions about policy recommendations, law reform proposals and the exercise of relevant statutory powers and functions; and oversees the strategic compliance and education functions that relate to consumer, small business and product safety programs.

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.

Conduct guidelines for Commission members

Code of Conduct for Commission Members and Associate Members 2019 ( PDF 706.25 KB )