Proposal to allow continued cooperation on fuel supply security measures

The Australian Institute of Petroleum (AIP) and major oil refineries will be allowed to continue to cooperate on measures to ensure the security of fuel supplies in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic, under a proposed authorisation from the ACCC. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant decline in demand for jet fuel and petrol in Australia, and there is a potential for disruptions to the international supply chains for fuel imported into Australia.

ACCC proposes to allow supermarkets to continue cooperating on grocery supply

Supermarket operators will be able to continue working together until March 2021 to ensure the continued supply of food and groceries during the COVID-19 pandemic, under the ACCC’s draft determination.

“The ACCC recognises the significant challenges businesses and the economy more broadly are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” ACCC Commissioner Stephen Ridgeway said.

APRA required to improve transparency of music licensing and royalties

Greater transparency about licence fees and royalties is a condition of the ACCC reauthorising the Australasian Performing Right Association’s (APRA) musical works licensing arrangements for a further four years.

APRA and its members, including composers, songwriters and publishers, hold performing rights for almost all commercially popular music played or performed in Australia, and earn royalties from those rights. In most cases, members assign these rights on an exclusive basis to APRA, which collects royalties by imposing licence fees on users of that music.

Private and public hospitals can continue cooperating on COVID-19

Private and public hospital operators, along with government health authorities in each Australian state and territory, will be able to continue working with each other in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, under the ACCC’s proposed authorisation announced today.

Allowing the private and public systems, and state governments, to coordinate will help ensure an efficient and effective allocation of hospital resources and services during the pandemic.

Coal producers to be authorised to collectively negotiate with Port of Newcastle

The ACCC proposes to allow the NSW Minerals Council and ten coal producers to collectively negotiate the terms and conditions, including price, of access to the Port of Newcastle for the export of coal and other minerals.

Other mining companies will be able to join the collective negotiations with Port of Newcastle Operations (PNO) in the future.

Since December 2019, PNO has been negotiating with individual coal producers over a proposed 10 year agreement for access to the port.

Caravanning Queensland’s proposed ‘loyalty program’ raises competition concerns

The ACCC proposes not to allow plans by Caravan Trade and Industries Association of Queensland (Caravanning Queensland) to offer a ‘loyalty program’ to its members.  Under the program, Caravanning Queensland would offer discounted fees to exhibit at its own caravanning trade shows on the condition that members do not take part in competing events.

The ACCC intends to revoke an exclusive dealing notification lodged by Caravanning Queensland about the ‘loyalty program’ because it raises serious competition concerns.

Interim authorisation for car rental companies revoked due to COVID-19

The ACCC has revoked an interim authorisation due to the change in market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The ACCC granted the interim authorisation in February to five major car rental companies to jointly negotiate with Cairns Airport including discussions about their lease agreement for space, such as parking bays and counter space at the airport.