The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has been honoured with an international award by the World Bank and International Competition Network (ICN) for its role in elevating competition policy to the national economic agenda.

The ACCC won the award for its advocacy work in promoting pro-competition measures when governments are privatising public assets.

The ACCC has been advocating that when privatising infrastructure assets, governments should not restrict future competition to these assets, and that infrastructure monopolies need appropriate up front regulation.

“We have been saying that to be successful, privatisations should seek to maximise competition and ensure adequate regulatory safeguards are in place,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“Without this the sale of public assets could lead to higher prices or reduced services for businesses, and ultimately, consumers.”

The ACCC was awarded the top prize in the category, “Levelling the playing field through competitive neutrality or by elevating competition policy to the economic policy agenda”.

“We’re delighted to have been recognised for our advocacy work in Australia, particularly as compared with other nations, we are relatively new to this area,” said ACCC Chairman Rod Sims. 

The ICN is a global network of competition agencies that share knowledge and expertise across four key pillars: mergers, cartels, misuse of market power and competition advocacy. 

“Our counterpart agencies overseas are heavily involved in competition advocacy as a core part of their mandate. The ACCC is now operating in the same way,” Mr Sims said.

The prize will be awarded at an ICN meeting in Portugal in May this year.

Notes to editors

See 2016 – 2017 Competition Advocacy Contest for more information.

The International Competition Network‘s role is to advocate the adoption of superior standards and procedures in competition policy around the world, formulate proposals for procedural and substantive convergence, and seek to facilitate effective international cooperation to the benefit of member agencies, consumers and economies worldwide.