The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is proposing to grant authorisation to the Catholic Negotiating Alliance (CNA) – a network of nine hospital and aged care service providers – to collectively negotiate with Health Funds and also with suppliers of various goods and services (including medical goods, cleaning, catering, banking and energy).
Authorisation will extend to CNA members sharing aggregated information for benchmarking to aid ongoing performance improvements.
“Collective negotiation is likely to result in significant benefits from cost savings by reducing the number of negotiations that need to take place and having better informed participants,” ACCC Commissioner Dr Jill Walker said.
The ACCC is not satisfied that allowing the CNA to collectively boycott suppliers will generate additional net benefits, so is not proposing to authorise that aspect of the conduct.
The ACCC welcomes comments on this Draft Determination to assist it in making a Final Determination within the next two months.
Authorisation provides statutory protection from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Broadly, the ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.
Further information is available at http://registers.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/1128907/fromItemId/278039
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