The ACCC has today issued guidelines for consultation on the new misuse of market power, concerted practices and authorisation provisions. These reforms recently passed Parliament and stem from recommendations of the Competition Policy Review.
“The ACCC will soon be able to act against concerted practices that substantially lessen competition and take action when a business with a substantial degree of market power has engaged in anti-competitive conduct,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“The guidelines set out how we propose to approach allegations of misuse of market power and concerted practices and assess applications for authorisation for proposed mergers and non-merger conduct when the legislation comes into effect.”
“These guidelines should help businesses comply with their obligations under the Competition and Consumer Act. The ACCC has formed a dedicated team which will focus on investigations into conduct alleged to involve the misuse of market power or concerted practices, and any resulting litigation,” Mr Sims said.
The recent changes to legislation include:
- amending the misuse of market power provision to introduce a substantial lessening of competition test to determine whether a business with a substantial degree of market power has engaged in anti-competitive conduct
- introducing a prohibition against concerted practices that substantially lessen competition
- amending the merger authorisation test and making the ACCC the first instance decision maker on applications for merger authorisation.
The ACCC has also released for public comment interim forms for seeking authorisation for proposed mergers and other conduct and lodging notifications. As part of the legislative reforms, the ACCC approves the form of the application or notification. Once the legislation commences, applications should be made using the interim forms.
The consultation process provides an opportunity for consumers, businesses and other interested stakeholders to provide their feedback to the ACCC. The authorisation guidelines and forms may be amended after consultation.
The closing date for comments on the guidelines and forms is Friday 24 November 2017.
The proposed guidelines, forms and information on how to comment are available on the ACCC’s Consultation Hub:
Interim guidelines on concerted practices
Interim guidelines on section 46 reforms
Guidelines and interim forms for merger and non-merger authorisations
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