Applying for authorisation

Authorisation is a public process which commences once a valid application is lodged. The ACCC must issue a final determination in writing either granting or dismissing an application for authorisation (of non-merger conduct) within six months of receiving a valid application, unless extended.

Usual steps in the authorisation process

  1. Pre-lodgment discussion between the applicant and the ACCC to outline the proposal and discuss the information that is likely to be needed to assess the application.
  2. Valid application lodged. A valid application includes provision of the information required by the form, payment of the lodgement fee and a signed declaration that the application is true, correct and complete.
  3. Public consultation conducted by the ACCC with interested parties.
  4. Draft determination issued by the ACCC, which states whether the ACCC proposes to grant or deny authorisation, whether any conditions are proposed and setting out the reasons for its proposed decision.
  5. Public consultation conducted by the ACCC on the draft determination. The ACCC invites written submissions and provides the applicant and interested parties with the opportunity to request a pre-decision conference where all parties can put their views directly to an ACCC commissioner.
  6. Final determination issued by the ACCC.

Authorisation is a public process

The authorisation process is public and the application for authorisation, all relevant submissions by the applicant and interested parties and the ACCC's draft and final determinations are placed on the authorisations public register.

Applicants and interested parties providing information to the ACCC regarding an authorisation may make a claim for confidentiality and ask that the information, or parts of it, be excluded from the public register. All confidentiality claims must be substantiated.

The public version of your application must contain sufficient information to enable consultation.

Six-month time limit

The ACCC must make a final determination in relation to new applications for authorisation within six-months of the application being validly lodged. The statutory six-month time limit does not apply to applications for revocation, revocation and substitution or minor variation, but, the ACCC still endeavours to consider these applications within six months.

Once the six-month time period has begun, the ACCC may only accept minor amendments to an application. Consultation with interested parties will take place according to strict deadlines for the submission of information. Submissions or information received after the deadline may, but need not be, taken into account.

The six-month period can be extended by up to a further six months if the ACCC has issued a draft determination and the applicant agrees to the extension.

Lodging an application

Before lodging an application for authorisation, applicants are encouraged to contact the ACCC on 02 6243 1368 or at adjudication@accc.gov.au to discuss their application.

The ACCC prefers applications to be lodged by email. Applications lodged by email should be accompanied by a covering letter that includes details of how and when the lodgement fee will be paid. However, applications can also be lodged by mail or in person at an ACCC office.

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Fees & forms